An electric cruise ship, dubbed Yangtze River Three Gorges 1, has set sail on its first voyage from Hubei province, China.

Claimed to be the world’s largest electric cruise ship, the vessel cruised up and down the Yangtze River before settling back into the Yichang port, reported Bloomberg.

The 100m-long and 16m-wide ship was developed by China Yangtze Power, a unit of Three Gorges and Hubei Three Gorges Tourism.

The aim is to use the vessel as a starting point to accelerate the Chinese marine electric vehicle market, including the development of a charging points network along the river, reported the news agency, citing Global Times.

Featuring a 7,500 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery supplied by Contemporary Amperex Technology, the cruise ship has the potential to travel roughly 100km on a single charge. This is said to result in savings of nearly 530 metric tonnes of fuel.

Construction of the vessel entailed an investment of $23.5m, and it is said to have attained zero emissions.

Planned to be used for sightseeing trips, the ship will have the capacity to accommodate 1,300 passengers. It is slated to begin commercial operations next month.

The news agency quoted the ship’s captain Chen Guohai as saying: “Before, I used my own experience to determine if any equipment went wrong.

“Now it’s all monitored by computers. For problems regarding electricity consumption and battery endurance, there are data for comparison and automatic control.”