In Nantes, the Jules Vernes 2 powered by Symbio has been providing daily connections between the neighbourhoods of Port-Boyer and Petit-Port Facultés, on both sides of the Erdre river, since April 2018:


The first French river shuttle is fully fuelled by hydrogen, possesses a navigation license and is operated by the Public Transport Joint Corporation of the Agglomeration of Nantes (Semitan). It can make more than 250 trips per day.


With a 60 hour range (i.e. one week of operation without refuelling) and a 10-minute load time, the Jules Vernes 2 has the capacity to carry up to 24 passengers and 10 bicycles and has successfully replaced “La Mouette” (the Seagull), the electrically propelled catamaran that had to load twice a day to be operational.

Commissioning a hydrogen fuelled electric powered catamaran for regular passenger transport meant designing a hydrogen system with:


  • A completely new format: regulatory authorities imposed certain requirements, especially in terms of redundancy of systems)


  • Adapted to the energy needs of the vehicle


Symbio has met all these challenges:


  • By integrating a system whose robustness and reliability have been demonstrated: H2Motiv S, based on a 5 kW battery is already used in more than 250 Renault Kangoo ZE REH2 commercial vehicles.


  • Studies analysed the boat’s energy needs to adapt the hydrogen system. Developed by Symbio, it uses 2 autonomous H2MotivS of 5kW cells, which operate redundantly according to the requirements of the authorities. The cells power the boat’s engines and recharge the buffer batteries. Note that the residual heat from the cells is used to moderate cabin temperature.

By optimising the system in terms of yield, operating costs and the solution’s sustainability.

Thanks to Symbio’s Hydrogen Solution, Maxity’s fuel cell loads in only 3-4 minutes.


The lorry’s range is also multiplied by 2.5: during real conditions of use in summer and winter it shifts from 85 km when electrically operated to 250 km with the Symbio range extender, because the heat released by the cell is used to heat the lorry’s passenger compartment (the heating being turned on does not impact the range of the vehicle).