Classic ferry gets Tesla battery retrofit

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Swedish tour operator Eco Sightseeing and electric marine specialists El & Marinteknik have revealed details of the retrofitting of a historic passenger boat with Tesla second-life batteries.

Together the two companies have carried out a conversion of the historic passenger boat Sylvia, which was originally built for the British Royal Navy in 1943 and participated in the D-Day landings in Normandy 1944.

The batteries are sourced from Tesla cars that have had their service life cut short and, following a reconditioning program, the packs (totaling 190kWh) are used to power an 85kW electric motor, which the companies say allows up to 14 hours’ cruising between charges. The recycled batteries are housed in bespoke aluminum casings, which provide waterproofing and act as a safety cell in case of battery malfunction.

Eco Sightseeing founder Elias Nilsson started the company in 2019 and noted, “I wanted to accelerate the development of sustainable shipping in close urban waters. In Stockholm there has been talk of converting commercial vessels for many years. Talk and talk but nothing has happened. I believe now is the time for action.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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