Yamaha develops hydrogen outboard motor

Testing on the prototype motor will begin this summer.
Testing on the prototype motor will begin this summer.
Testing on the prototype motor will begin this summer.

Yamaha Motor Corp. has unveiled the world’s first hydrogen-powered outboard motor, along with a prototype fuel system integrated into a vessel that the company plans to refine for testing later this year. The new motor is part of Yamaha’s corporate strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by deploying multiple technology solutions. The company announced its hydrogen outboard project last December.

Yamaha collaborated with Roush CleanTech to develop the fuel system for the new outboard and partnered with boatbuilder Regulator Marine to construct a suitable vessel for testing the prototype outboard. 

Together, the companies plan to begin testing the prototype for viability on the water this coming summer. 

“Yamaha is exploring all possibilities to achieve carbon neutrality, and we’ve made commitments for our operations to be carbon neutral by 2035 and our products to become carbon neutral by 2050,” said Ben Speciale, Yamaha’s U.S. marine business unit president. 

“That goal within the marine market can only be reached through an approach that leverages multiple solutions,” he said, adding that, “We believe hydrogen is a viable method of achieving those goals. By working with Roush on the fuel system engineering, Yamaha benefits from over two decades of hydrogen systems integration and research,”

Regulator Marine built a hull based on its 26XO center console crossover boat design and modified it to accommodate the hydrogen tanks necessary to power the new outboard. 

Innovation, Joan Maxwell, president, Regulator Marine, said, “starts by asking questions. In the future, as we design boats, if this proves what we think it will, it could be very possible that we are designing hulls around these hydrogen fuel tanks,” 

Yamaha, Regulator and Roush melded the boat hull, fuel system, and outboard “to demonstrate how hydrogen could work as a possible fuel source in a marine environment,” said Speciale. “The effort allows engineers to begin the process of determining marine standards for the use of hydrogen outboards in workboats and other vessels.”