Hypermotive makes waves in the zero-emissions leisure marine sector

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September 21st 2020

Responding to the UK’s 2019 Clean Maritime Plan (CMP), Hypermotive are leading a consortium including EP Barrus and HPi-CEproof to develop a fuel cell battery hybrid powerplant for light marine vessels.  Supported by recently awarded grant funding from the Niche Vehicle Network (NVN), this proof of concept programme builds on a previous successful technical and commercial feasibility study.

The 2019 Clean Maritime Plan sets out the aim that by 2050 all vessels in UK waters must be zero-emissions. Fuel cell and battery integration specialists, Hypermotive, have joined forces with the UKs largest marine engine supplier, Barrus, to develop a hydrogen-powered zero-emissions powerplant to support the move towards zero emissions for the inland waterways market. Barrus already supply over 30% of the UKs inland waterways powerplants so are uniquely placed to understand the needs of the industry. Project partner HPi-CEproof, the UK’s only notified body licensed to certify small marine craft for the European market, will help ensure that the project meets the developing standards for marine electrification. The project will be overseen by a steering committee of industrial stakeholders including BoC Linde (hydrogen gas), Beacon Park Boats and Mothership Marine.

Adam Huckstep, Managing Director at Hypermotive, “Hypermotive are really pleased to be collaborating with EP Barrus and HPi-CEproof on this project. Our previous feasibility study work has shown a good technical fit between the proposed fuel cell battery hybrid powerplant and the marine duty cycle, and operationally the inland marine industry is already familiar with gaseous fuels. We firmly believe fuel cells will play an important role in decarbonising our waterways.”


Tara Glen, Director at EP Barrus, “Barrus have been involved with low-emission marine powerplants for a while, in the form of diesel-electric hybrid systems and pure electric. Barrus has always been at the forefront of bringing new ideas to the marine industry. A fortuitous meeting with Hypermotive at an British Marine/MIA gathering, led to our ideas becoming this project. We are delighted to partner with Hypermotive who have expertise in fuel cells from other sectors and HPi-CEproof, with whom we have worked many times with respect to marine certification. We could not have two stronger partners for this project”.


Alasdair Reay, Managing Director at HPi-CEproof, “Many industries are increasingly adopting hydrogen as the fuel of the future and, with this project, the boating industry is doing the same. One of the perceived impediments to the industry adopting hydrogen is that the gas is not currently addressed in any boating standards and so there is no explicit compliance path to follow. HPi-CEproof, however, has formal accreditations to certify both boats and pressure equipment and using our knowledge from these areas, we look forward to ensuring the product that the project will realise, is compliant with the requirements of both the UK and EU markets.”

About the partners

Hypermotive Ltd are Midlands-based electrical integration specialists with a focus on energy storage systems, especially those incorporating hydrogen fuel cells. Serving a wide customer base across automotive, motorsport, niche vehicle, commercial, off-highway and marine,  Hypermotive’s engineering capabilities cover the full range required to transpose electric integration design and manufacture from concept through to prototype, including systems, mechanical, electrical, electronics, controls and software.  Hypermotive’s engineering expertise is supported by in-house low to medium volume manufacturing including tier 1 OEM supply of wire harnessing and custom electronics.

EP Barrus has partnerships with major international companies representing leading brands in the marine, garden and industrial engine markets. Each of these market sectors are serviced and supported by specialist teams. They deliver professional sales and technical after-sales back-up to the Barrus network of over 3,000 authorised dealers to provide the highest quality products to the end user. Barrus is also recognised worldwide as a leading custom powerplant builder, Barrus' applications engineers ensure the optimum specification is supplied direct to original equipment customers’ production lines. Barrus’ dedicated research and development team work as consultants with the MoD, the RNLI and other military and emergency services organisations supplying specialist powerplants and equipment. The demanding operating environments that these organisations encounter set the standards that Barrus apply across all products and services.


HPi-CEproof was, initially, the certification department within the UK Atomic Energy Authority. The company is now privately owned and is a Notified Body, appointed by the UK government and licensed by the EU Commission to certify products to a number of EU CE marking Directives. They are the only UK body appointed to certify to the EU Recreational Craft Directive and one of very few in the World, appointed to certify both to RCD and the EU Pressure Equipment Directive. This combination of knowledge was used to certify the first boat carrying a fuel cell in the UK, Hydrogenesis, in 2012. HPi-CEproof certifies boats for companies such as Sunseeker, Princess & Oyster in UK and Mastercraft, Nordhavn, Elan, Riviera and AB Marine. The company also certifies pressure equipment for companies including Pfizer, Tata Chemicals, Aggreko, ABB & LG.


The Niche Vehicle Network is a free to join networking and support organisation focused on enabling UK low volume vehicle manufacturers and design and engineering companies to research and develop innovative low carbon vehicle technologies. The Network is funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, Innovate UK, the Advanced Propulsion Centre and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

For more information, please get in touch with our team contact@hyper-motive.com.