The vessel can travel 50 miles at a top speed of 8 miles per hour on a single charge
The world's first 2,200-metric-ton all-electric cargo ship was launched last month in Guangzhou, the capital of the Guangdong province in China, running in the inland section of the Pearl River. Manufactured by the Guangzhou Shipyard International Company Ltd, the vessel features a battery system that can allow it to travel 50 miles after being charged for two hours (roughly the amount of time it would take to unload the ship's cargo while docked). The 1,000 lithium-ion packs can be supported by additional units if the cargo is heavier or the ship needs to travel a longer distance, while the batteryâ€™s capacity (2,400 kWh) is barely enough to fulfill any transatlantic shipments.
According to Chen Ji, general manager of Guangzhou Shipyard International, the use of the new-energy cargo vessel will help to greatly reduce shipping costs for electric power operators. "The cost of electric power is less than that (of) traditional fuel. The main cost of the new energy cargo ship depends on how much lithium battery it is equipped with," he said." Theoretically, the fully electric-powered ship could have more capacity in cargo loading. If it is equipped with larger energy batteries, it will carry goods of more than 2,000 tons," he added.
The ship, which is 70.5 meters (230 feet) long and has a travel speed of 12.8 kilometers (8 miles) per hour, is for the time-being carrying coal for the generation of electric power (ironically!). "As the ship is fully electric powered, it poses no threats to the environment," said Huang Jialin, general manager of Hangzhou Modern Ship Design & Research Co, the company behind the ship's design. He also expressed his opinion that "The technology will soon be likely ... used in passenger or engineering ships."
The concept of the all-electric cargo ship will need to be tested out in Asian marketsâ€”with more ships on more rivers carrying more kinds of cargoâ€”in order for Hangzhou to be able to market the model abroad one day. It is also worth noticing that only two ports so far have been fitted with charging stations specifically for the ship.
Source: Business Insider