This project involved the conversion of a British Waterways maintenance craft to a canal boat, powered by a combination of a solid-state hydrogen store, Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell, lead-acid battery pack and a high-efficiency, permanent magnet (NdFeB) electric motor. These replaced the conventional diesel engine thus eliminating water, noise, local and general atmospheric pollution. The "Protium" project applies modern technologies to a traditional mode of transportation. The TiMn2-based metal hydride store exhibited excellent performance as an effective means of storing 4 kg of hydrogen with a suitable desorption flow rate and temperature adequate for the operation of a 1 kW PEM fuel cell in a water-based environment. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2011.