A Dutch company has developed all-electric, fully autonomous cargo barges
Spotted: Dutch maritime company Port Liner has developed the world’s first fully electric container ship. The vessels’ will be powered by 20-foot-long batteries and are designed to operate without a crew. The ships can travel for around 14 hours on a single charge, long enough to cover the popular Rotterdam/Antwerp/Duisburg shipping corridor.
By doing away with the engine room, the barges can carry around 8 percent more cargo than similarly-sized diesel vessels and have greater loading efficiency. These advantages mean that the cost of ownership of the all-electric vessels is equal or less than conventional diesel-powered ships.
By around August 2019, five of the electric barges will be plying the Dutch waterways. Future vessels are also in the works which will carry four batteries and be capable of 35 hours of continuous operation. According to Port Liner, they could produce around 500 of the electric barges each year, and the electric motors and batteries used can be retro-fitted onto older boats.