Electric container barges replace trucks
The world's first electrically driven, emission-free and potentially autonomously container barges will be deployed in the ports of Antwerp, Amsterdam and Rotterdam this summer. From these ports they will move containers to their destinations by the waterways, replacing trucks as transportation devices.
They are already being refered to as "Canal Teslas" and will be powered by a 20-foot battery box, that will be charged on land with green power from the company Eneco. A single charge will supply them with enough energy to at laest 15 hours of operation.
The barges are 52 meters long and 6.7 meters wide and have the capacity for 24 containers each. It could hold more, if it was not for the low height of the bridges across the canals, Ton van Meegen, director of the Dutch company Port Liner, who is in charge of building the barges, has stated.
Although the barges are built to sail autonomously, there will be a crew onboard in the beginning, because new infrastructure is being built around the busy waterways in Holland and Belgium.
According to The Guardian the five barges could potentially remove 23,000 diesel driven trucks from the roads.
In the future the plan is to insert six 110 meter barges, which will be equipped with each four battery boxes, providing enough power for 35 hours of operation.
The barges are developed in the Netherlands with a grant of 7 million Euros from the EU and additional funds from the ports involved with the project.
Source: The Guardian / Maritime Denmark