China has tested a homegrown electric cargo ship in water in Changzhou at the Yangtze River section.

The ship, which has a load capacity of 1,000t, is powered using a lithium battery and supercapacitor with a 1,458 kWh battery capacity.

Xinhua quoted the State Grid Jiangsu branch as saying that the capacity is equivalent to 40 electric cars. State Grid Jiangsu branch was a participant in the design of the ship.

Christened ‘Zhongtiandianyun 001’, the ship can travel 50km after a charging period of 2.5 hours, said the company’s marketing director Li Yaohong.

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The province of Jiangsu installed 4,918 charging systems along the river in eight cities. These points are capable of providing around 57 million kWh of power annually.

This is expected to save over 20,000t of diesel, decrease oxynitride emissions by more than 600t and sulphur dioxide emissions by 200t.

The Yangtze River’s Jiangsu section is said to be one of the busiest waterways around the globe. More than 90% of the ships operate using diesel, which contributes to pollution in the area.

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In August last year, four Japanese companies Asahi Tanker, Exeno Yamamizu, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) agreed on a strategic partnership to develop zero-emission fully-electric vessels.

New Zealand’s Ports of Auckland also signed a contract with Dutch company Damen Shipyards to purchase a fully electric ship-handling tug.