Across the world, we are seeing an increasing number of plans by countries to phase out in the coming years use of diesel in transport onshore. Now people are asking, with shipping, if electricity could replace diesel, especially with the prospect of the introduction of tougher emission standards over the next decade by the International Maritime Organisation and the EU.
The concept of using electricity as a source of propulsion is not new. In fact, the German inventor Moritz von Jacobi developed the first electric boat in 1839 in St Petersburg, Russia. It was a 24-foot (7.3 metre) boat which carried 14 passengers at 3 miles per hour (4.8 km/h). It was showed to Emperor Nicholas I of Russia on the Neva River.
Here is a quick look at some recent all-electric vessels in operation today.
Now today, in Europe we are seeing a Dutch Company called Port-Liner in the midst of building a series of all-electric barges. This year, we will see the launch of an initial six such barges – 52 metres long and 6.7m wide and able to carry 280 containers come into operation able to serve 17 inland terminals in the region.
The 100 million-euro project supported by a 7m subsidy from the European Union is expected to have a significant impact on local transport between the ports of Amsterdam, Antwerp, and Rotterdam. The first 6 barges are expected to remove 23,000 trucks from the roads annually in the Netherlands and replace them with zero-emission transport.