May 29, 2018 — At the pier outside Amsterdam’s central train station, commuters stride aboard the IJveer 61. The squat ferry crisscrosses the waterfront, taking passengers from the city’s historic center to the borough of Noord. Beneath their feet, two electric motors propel the ferry through the gray-green waters, powered by 26 lithium-ion polymer batteries and a pair of diesel generators.
Hybrid vessels like the IJveer 61 are increasingly common in the Netherlands, where officials are pushing to limit toxic air pollution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the maritime sector. Patrol vessels and work ships are turning more to batteries and using less petroleum-based fuel; so are crane-carrying boats that pluck fallen bicycles from Amsterdam’s famous canals.
Some of these vessels recharge during off-hours, pulling from the harbor’s electric grid connection. In other boats, diesel generators recharge batteries as they run. As the harbor’s electricity infrastructure expands, more vessels could ditch diesel entirely, says Walter van der Pennen from EST-Floattech, the Dutch energy-storage company that oversaw installation of the IJveer 61’s series hybrid system.
“The next step is to move away from hybrids,” he tells me one drizzly afternoon from a café overlooking the waterway. “For all of the vessels here, it’s perfectly suitable to go full electric.”
READ MORE: https://spectrum.ieee.org/transportation/marine/the-struggle-to-make-dieselguzzling-cargo-ships-greenerectrum.ieee.org/transportation/marine/the-struggle-to-make-dieselguzzling-cargo-ships-greener