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Almatech produces a zero-emission maritime shuttle for Japan

Wednesday 2 June 2021


Lausanne-based Almatech and Tokyo’s e5.lab Inc have entered a partnership to promote and market a revolutionary zero-emission maritime shuttle, dubbed ZESST, on the Japanese market.

Born on the shores of Lake Geneva at Almatech, a space and naval engineering company, ZESST is a “Zero Emission Speed ShutTle” for public transport using waterways.

The shuttle will combine several cutting-edge technologies, such as hydrogen fuel cells, high density batteries, super light cabin and hull structures, and retractable foils fitted with ultra-compact torpedo-like electrical motors equipped with optimized propellers. 

As Japan is a key market for ZESST, Almatech sees EXPO OSAKA 2025 as the perfect showcase for its innovative shuttle. Furthermore, maritime transport is one the sectors that need to reduce GHG emissions on a global level.

Many countries, especially Japan, a maritime country surrounded by oceans on all sides, have become aware of the need to act quickly and concretely in this area for climate protection. Hervé Cottard, General Manager at Almatech, welcomes “a major step forward for ZESST that has convinced, with its numerous assets, partners as important as e5.lab”.

E5.lab Inc is a Japanese joint venture consisting of Asahi Tanker, Exeno, MOL and Mitsubishi. Established in 2019, e5.lab aims to deliver "e-value" in 5 areas: electrification, environment, evolution, efficiency and economics with the objectives to address and solve the key challenges that shipping and the Japanese industry in general will face in the near future.

After spending three three years developing ZESST, the next challenge for the Vaud-based company is to secure funds to ensure the development of the 100 passengers shuttle, requiring a budget of about CHF 30 million (including the manufacturing and certification). Almatech is therefore looking for investors and expects a 2025 launch of its shuttle.

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