Home » ZESST and Air Liquide announce partnership for a pilot hydrogen passenger boat on Lake Geneva

ZESST and Air Liquide announce partnership for a pilot hydrogen passenger boat on Lake Geneva


Lausanne, March 2023 – ZESST, a Swiss start-up in the field of zero emission maritime transport, agreed on a partnership with Carbagas – the Swiss entity of Air Liquide Group, a world leader in the field of industrial and medical gases – for the development of a pilot hydrogen passenger boat on Lake Geneva.

ZESST is developing a hydrogen-fuelled boat called ZESST Precursor which will pilot emission-free hydrogen mobility on Lake Geneva. It’s planned to come into operation before the end of 2023 and will shuttle between Lausanne (Switzerland) and Thonon-les-Bains (France).

In context of the partnership, Air Liquide supports the ZESST Precursor boat development, and once developed will ensure reliable hydrogen supply, which also includes a mobile Hydrogen Refueling Station that ZESST will rent from Air Liquide.

Dr Luc Blecha, ZESST’s CEO, commented: “Carbagas is a very valuable partner to us, because they offer a comprehensive expertise in hydrogen and its supply chain.

Claire Gillet, Business Developer for Carbagas, explains: “We are convinced that hydrogen will play an important role in maritime transport in the future. We are very pleased to support the development of the start-up ZESST so that they can contribute to promoting hydrogen development for maritime transport.


About ZESST:

ZESST is a Swiss start-up born at EPFL thanks to the support of Almatech Space. Its mission is to create zero-emissions maritime transport solutions for a greener future, that will be more affordable than existing diesel fast ships. ZESST has developed a product range of fast ferries and in 2024 will bring to the commercial market an 11m long vessel which can fit 7 passengers. Comfortable, silent and ecological, it emits only water vapor thanks to hydrogen-powered engines. The hydrofoils save 85% of fuel and thus minimize operating costs.


About Air Liquide:

Air Liquide is a world leader in gases, technologies and services for different industries and health. In Switzerland, Air Liquide operates as Carbagas and serves more than 53,000 customers and patients, including international companies in the steel production, chemical, automotive, food, research, pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries, as well as medium-sized companies and craft businesses.

Developed on an industrial scale, hydrogen will not only help respond to the climate emergency but also to the needs of populations and businesses. In this context, Air Liquide is taking up the challenge of clean mobility and thus making a concrete contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in one of the most emitting sectors.


Media Contact:

Luc Blecha
+41 (0)21 555 3004


Carbagas / Air Liquide
Marlene Moser
+43 1 70109304