The Silent Transformation of Maritime Transport
Nov 02, 2018 Luke Gear
IDTechEx is one of the few market and technical research companies following marine electrification as part of its wider electric vehicle research -- and it is a segment quietly undergoing a transformation. The marine industry makes significant contributions to global pollution (particularly ocean-going vessels), often out of the spotlight. But in the past decade, regulations that have first focused on restricting particulates emissions, and more recently carbon emissions, are driving change.
Note: Numbers refer to the amount of passenger cars needed for equivalent emissions of one vessel. Source: DNG.VL
There is a distinction between the two types of regulation: whereas carbon emission regulations are concerned with global warming, for particulates the concern is for local pollution, which has a more immediate and tangible impact on the health of those living in cities. As diesel-gate demonstrated for the auto industry in 2015, local pollution is a problem that society takes seriously. Amsterdam, for example, released a policy paper in November 2013 that requires every commercial ship to be zero-emission on its canals by 2020 or 2025, depending on its size. The trend for inland water vessels, and other small pleasure and leisure vessels, is that often they can skip becoming hybrids and jump straight to pure electric versions due to the short ranges required, and potential for opportunity charging. One of the pure electric boats to come out of Amsterdam's policy was a tourist boat called the 'Berlin', released back in 2016, which is supplied with LFP batteries from LithiumWerks.
At the annual Electric Vehicles: Everything is Changing conference this year, held by IDTechEx on November 14 - 15 in Silicon Valley, a company called Quadrofoil has an interesting take on the future of marine electrification -- it sells an electric hydrofoil (a type of lifting surface vessel), and it will share its vision and solutions for the future of personal water transportation in a presentation titled 'The 21st Century Solution for Overcrowded Streets and Pollution'. While today Quadrofoil and others have products targeting premium segments, such companies are gaining momentum, and have helped the electric pleasure and leisure watercraft market rise to over 85,000 on the water today.
To learn more on maritime electrification, IDTechEx Research has developed forecasts by category in a market research report. For full details see www.idtechex.com/marine.
Top image source: Quadrofoil