The first electric ship is expected to debut on the mighty Yangtze, China’s longest river, by the end of the year.
The 100-metre, electric-powered vessel, scheduled for sightseeing cruises on the Yangtze, will provide a smoother and quieter sailing experience with zero emissions and engine noise.
The electric ship, a joint venture between China’s Yichang Transportation Co and China Yangtze Power Co, is expected to cost about $18 million.
Yichang Transportation is a major passenger transportation player in China owning five river cruise vessels that ply Yangtze’s popular Three Gorges itinerary.
Yichang will be responsible for the design and construction of the electric ship while Yangtze Power will focus on the development of the battery and electric power system.
The vessel which will have two decks, will be shaped like a dolphin, carrying a maximum of 300 passengers. It will have glass walls for better views of the beautiful surrounding scenery.
The vessel will be powered by 25 tonnes of lithium batteries, equivalent to the battery capacity of 50 family cars, according to reports.
Battery charging facilities are also being built along the Yangtze to enable the ship to be charged.
It takes about six hours to charge up the battery. Once fully charged, the ship can travel for about 120km.