In the Chinese Guangzhou province, a massive cargo ship with an energy storage capacity of 2.4 MWh has been put into operation. The vessel couples two 160 kW electric propellers and a mix of supercapacitors and Li-ion batteries for up to 80 km on one charge.
With its 70.5 meters length, it is designed for short distances and has a cargo capacity of 2,000 tons. Ironically, the ships first assignment is to to transport coal down the Pearl River in Guangdong Province. Both shipyards boast huge charging systems said to charge the vessel in less than two hours. For comparison, electrek points out that the 2.4 MWh system holds as much energy as 24 Tesla Model S P100D.
After a successful maiden voyage last month, the operators plan to use the design to launch other electric ships to carry all sorts of cargo and passengers. Given China’s numerous ferries and industrial shipping industry, this could make a huge difference. Plus, regular cargo ships emit very high levels of pollutants such as sulfur so their electrification is much needed.