Crowley to build and operate first fully electric tugboat in USA

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Crowley Maritime Corporation has announced it is to build and operate the first all-electric harbor tugboat in the USA, named the eWolf, set for operations at the Port of San Diego’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.

Featuring a fully integrated electrical package from ABB, the design of the eWolf and its propulsion system enables fully electric operation of the vessel within the port, resulting in zero carbon emissions. Alongside this, the tugboat has 360° visibility and artificial intelligence technology (AI), also from ABB, to increase the boat’s safety and efficiency when carrying out tasks.

Measuring 82ft in length, and capable of a bollard pull of up to 70 tons, it is estimated that during the first 10 years of the eWolf’s operation, the vessel will reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 178 tons, diesel particulate matter by 2.5 tons, and carbon dioxide (CO2) by 3,100 metric tons compared with a traditional tugboat with a combustion engine. At present, the Port of San Diego’s tugboat consumes 30,000 gallons of diesel annually.

“Crowley’s first-of-its-kind electric tugboat is a game-changer. It checks all the boxes by providing environmental, economic and operational benefits for our communities and maritime industry,” said Michael Zucchet, chairman of the Port of San Diego’s Board of Port Commissioners. “We are proud to work with Crowley and couldn’t be more pleased the eWolf will operate exclusively on San Diego Bay.”

The eWolf will be built by Master Boat Builders in Coden, Alabama, utilizing design and on-site construction management from Crowley Engineering Services and the recently integrated Jensen Maritime naval architecture and marine engineering group. When charging is necessary, the vessel’s batteries will be charged at a shoreside station developed with Cochran Marine.

“This vessel will set a standard in the US maritime industry for sustainability and performance, and its zero-emissions capability and autonomous technology will benefit the environment and the safety of mariners and vessels,” commented Garrett Rice, president, Master Boat Builders.

The eWolf is expected to be fully operational by mid-2023. 

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After spending the past six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum recently joined UKi Media & Events as an assistant editor. In this role he will use his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors.

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