Date

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Air District has awarded its first ever loan guarantee to SWITCH Maritime, an impact investment company building the first fleet of zero-emissions vessels in North America.

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SWITCH’s flagship vessel is a first-of-its-kind 84-passenger, fuel cell electric “e-ferry” that is currently in the final phases of construction and will commence operation on a route between Oakland and San Francisco later this year. This project will have the added benefits of creating work for 63 people while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and diesel particulate matter for impacted communities around the Port of Oakland.

This loan guarantee is the first project under the Air District’s Climate Tech Finance program, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gases by accelerating emerging climate technologies. In partnership with the California Infrastructure Economic Development Bank and the Northern California Financial Development Corporation , the Climate Tech Finance team led a technology qualification and greenhouse gas analysis that deemed SWITCH eligible for a $2.5 million loan guarantee. This loan guarantee supported SWITCH in securing a $5 million loan with a commercial bank.

The core value of Climate Tech Finance is to support innovative climate projects, and the Air District’s greenhouse gas analysis ensures that new technologies will reduce short- and long-term greenhouse gas emissions. The e-ferry's electric propulsion system and fuel cell power train are 100 percent zero emissions, thereby completely preventing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with conventional, diesel-fueled vessels. Estimates show that operation of this zero-emission ferry in the San Francisco Bay could avoid roughly 1,190 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per year for the next five years or more.

SWITCH Maritime LLC was founded in 2018 by the same principal owners of Clean Marine Energy LLC , which invests in clean fueling infrastructure.

View press release.

Last Updated: 7/20/2020