SPBES and Glas Ocean Electric announce first electric Cape Islander tour boat

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Marine energy storage company Sterling PBES and naval engineering firm Glas Ocean Electric have launched a refitted electric Cape Islander vessel.

The completely retrofitted and renamed Alutasi will continue service with Ambasatours in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and is the first lithium-ion-powered vessel Transport Canada has approved for more than 12 passengers, the companies said. In a partnership with Mi’kmaw artist Alan Syliboy, the boat is covered in colourful designs of ocean animals.

The craft, formerly named Peggy’s Cove Express, served many seasons as a trawler on the East Coast and is a familiar design that has been in use for decades.

The project will reduce air emissions, water pollution and underwater radiated noise by switching to an electric powertrain. The companies said that it has already been shown that the reduction in vibrations an electric system provides reduces fatigue in crew and passengers. The reduction in ambient noise and air pollution is expected to reduce hearing loss and health effects in operators over time. Reduced fuel and maintenance costs will also be assessed.

A Sterling PBES liquid-cooled battery provides ample power for day-to-day operations while in tour mode. The lithium-ion battery system has been engineered to the highest standards of performance and safety, and is designed to seamlessly integrate with virtually any electrical infrastructure.

The battery system that was retrofitted to Alutasi may be installed in a variety of vessels of this size. The fishermen of the East Coast who use the Cape Islander style vessels will see significant reductions in operating costs by using batteries in their workboats and by doing so will help transition their industry to a sustainable future.

“Alutasi is a great example of a cost-effective system for smaller vessels,” said Brent Perry, CEO of Sterling PBES. “Our goal as a team was to create a total solution that delivers turnkey performance with realistic financial payback to all vessels of this size, while meeting all of the safety and reliability needs that are involved with transporting passengers and goods.”

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