HALIFAX, NS (October 18, 2023) – Glas Ocean Electric (Glas Ocean), a Canada-based company that designs and builds battery electric-hybrid drives for workboats, announces a $2 million (U.S.) seed round of funding from Ocean Zero, LLC. The investment will support scaling up Glas Ocean’s unique electric hybrid drive system that dramatically reduces CO2 emissions, makes any boat more efficient, and improves the marine environment.

Ocean Zero, LLC was founded three years ago by TED Conferences Curator Chris Anderson and science/finance journalist Stephen Petranek to invest in innovative young companies that can speed up the transition to fossil-free sea transport.

“Annual CO2 emitted by commercial ships at sea exceeds the amount of CO2 emitted by all the aircraft in the world,” says Petranek. “This is one of the most dangerous yet simplest problems facing us in the race to eliminate fossil fuel burning. In just a few years since founding, Ocean Zero has supported eight extraordinary companies, including a firm that can reduce fuel consumption by large ships by as much as 50% using wind power, a company that can reduce hull friction by up to 50% with air lubrication, a company that can build batteries with twice the energy density of the best batteries in the world, and now a company that can refit fishing trawlers to operate at sea on electric power alone. Glas Ocean’s battery electric-hybrid conversion kits and remarkable data collection and analysis platform decrease a ship’s carbon footprint and increase efficiency. The combination gives us a realistic shot at making breakthrough differences in climate change.”

“From day one, our team’s focus has been on reducing CO2 emissions from vessels with realistic and affordable technologies that can land in the short-term rather than in a decade from now,” said Dr. Sue Molloy, P.Eng, CEO of Glas Ocean Electric. “Ocean Zero mirrors our vision, and their investment will propel the development of our battery electric-hybrid conversion kit and our unique vessel efficiency technology platform.”

Glas Ocean’s battery electric-hybrid system can be easily added to the drive line of existing diesel engines in fishing vessels, workboats, tour boats, ferries, and pleasure craft. Captains can easily switch between diesel or electric propulsion systems depending on conditions or use advice from artificial intelligence software that maximizes the use of the electric motor after gathering real-time data from multiple sensors on the boat and integrating it with predictive software for positioning, sea conditions, and weather. In the near future, Glas Ocean’s battery electric-hybrid systems can be economically converted to all-electric propulsion as battery technologies become more mature.

Glas Ocean recently received support from the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Department of National Defense Innovation for Defense Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program.

The company has been accepted into the Innovative Solutions Canada initiative, designed to stimulate research, development, and commercialization of Canadian leading-edge technologies.

“With Glas Ocean Electric’s innovations and Canada’s long tradition of sea-going commerce, we can lead the way to a future that doesn’t threaten our oceans and coastal communities,” says Molloy. “I am optimistic that we will succeed in avoiding climate disaster.”

Glas Ocean Electric is on a path of growth and is open to further investment for a second round of funding.