Sodexo Sports et Loisirs, the global business services company, and Vinci Energies have launched the first hybrid Batobus, a river shuttle operating on the River Seine in Paris, France.
The hybrid Batobus is the first product of the new relationship between Sodexo and Vinci Energies, and its subsidiary Barillec Marine, which is seeking to develop new electric and hybrid propulsion systems for river and maritime transportation.
The Batobus services present particular difficulties in the conversion to alternative power sources, as the current schedule can serve nine possible stops depending on demand and operate over a long daily schedule. The river shuttle currently serves 1.8 million passengers per year.
Over the next four years, six of the eight Batobuses currently in service will be converted to the hybrid propulsion, representing an investment of €4.2m (US$4.6m), or 25% of the new price of the fleet. The conversion replaces one of the two thermal generators with a battery pack.
“This transformation will allow the Batobus to reduce their environmental impact and ensure a quieter navigation. Hybrid boats will also be able to switch to 100% electric energy in certain parts of the route in the historic heart of Paris,” explained Franck Chanevas, general manager of Sodexo Sports et Loisirs in France and Spain.