As electric boating grows in popularity, the need for electric boat charging outlets also grows. Now Norway is installing a network including one 150kW ‘supercharger’ and in Venice electric mooring posts along the canals will service expanding marine electrification there.
Norway: 150kW electric boat supercharger
A group of companies are responsible for initiating the electric boat charging network in Norway, including electric boat motor manufacturer Evoy along with power companies SFE and BKK, the Municipality of Kinn and the Port of Florø, where Evoy is located. The fast charging stations and system will be overseen by BKK subsidiary Plug, which already builds, owns, and operates onshore power plants for ships.
In addition to Florø, the network will kick off with chargers at marinas in Aker Brygge and Bergen. The Florø location will be equipped with a 150 kiloWatt electric boat supercharger, a big benefit for Evoy, which already has a 400kW inboard motor in service and is now taking orders for its 150kW outboard (about 200 horsepower).
“A dream come true”
Evoy Co-founder & CEO Leif A Stavøstrand said “This is a dream come true for us, seeing the infrastructure starting to pick up and making e-boating a viable option for more and more users. It is essential to developing a healthy market and also meeting the present demand of electric boat owners. The supercharger takes away any concerns about charging capacity and speed.”
Plug owner BKK is Western Norway’s largest renewables company and has an EV charging network with over 400 fast chargers in 150 locations throughout the country. Norway is one of the world leaders in electric car take up and BKK/Plug is confident electric boating will follow a similar path.
“Even if it takes time before it becomes a mass market, the transition is around the corner and it means we will need electric boat charging along the coast.” said Plug CEO Maria Bos. “Boat owners, marinas, boat dealers, and politicians are all interested in how charging infrastructures can be installed and we are in talks with multiple ports and boating associations.”
Venice electric boat charging ‘e-dock’
Meanwhile, further south in Europe, the historic canal city of Venice has installed the first of what it hopes will be a city wide network of electric boat charging stations disguised as the classic ‘palina’ – wooden mooring poles – that dot the banks of the waterways.
The driving force behind the Venice installations is ecotechnology startup e-concept who enlisted a number of partners to realize their electrification goals: Italian electric boat motor companies Huracan and E-dyn, e-boat dealer AQA Marine, Femak batteries, charger manufacturer EDN, Orvim composites and Rein, who have been making Venice palina since 1999 using 100% recycled and recyclable materials.
On the infrastructure side of things, some key partners jumped on board, one of the most important being Enel X, the official smart charging partner of electric car and electric motorcycle tours Formula-E and MotoE. Enel X is the advanced energy services division of Enel Group, the world’s second largest power company by revenue and it will draw all of the electricity for the network from renewable sources.
Additional impetus for the project and its goal of helping reduce carbon emissions in Venice came when the city joined the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy and undertook to draw up a new Action Plan for Sustainable Energy and Climate (SECAP) by 2022.
e-Regatta coming to Venice Boat Show May 29
The city’s utility authority, Veritas, was also instrumental in offering its electric refuse collection boats as the first customers for the electrical mooring posts, and an association of local businesses similar to a chamber of commerce – Confindustria Venezia – also provided its influential support.
The e-dock mooring posts are made from 100% recyclable materials and are designed to fit in with the aesthetics of Venice. In addition to environmental friendliness, the materials are more durable than the traditional wooden palina and are better able to withstand the corrosive effects of the salt water and constant impact of moored boats.
One more organization that needs to be recognized is the boating association of Venice, Assonautica Venezia, which is a major player in producing and promoting the e-Regatta that will be taking place this May 29 to June 6 during the Venice Boat Show. The event will heighten awareness of the benefits of electric propulsion for a city that is struggling to overcome the emissions, noise and wake of fossil fuel boats.
Electric boat charging networks gathering momentum
Throughout Europe one of the reasons for the rise of electric boats and charging networks is the EU’s formal target of a 60% reduction of greenhouse gases by 2050. New projects include a mini-network of 10 electric boat chargers on the Telemark Canal to provide power for an all-electric charter fleet of 6 Greenline yachts and VITA Power’s 150kW electric boat superchargers along the Mediterranean riviera from Cannes to Monaco.
Over in North America electric ferries like the Niagara Falls Maid of the Mist are installing their own systems to charge the boats during the time customers are embarking/disembarking and on the recreational side Ingenity – builders of the electric Super Air Nautique GS22E wake boat – have debuted an onshore automotive style “EB Charger” on Lake Tahoe in California.
There is still a long way to go, of course. Venice has 9,000 palinas that we hope will all be e-docks one day, and as Plug CEO Maria Bos noted in her remarks about the Norwegian market, it is still early days. But there is no doubt change is underway and it is encouraging to see plans in place to make sure that electric boat charging infrastructure is being built to both serve and encourage the growth in electric boating.
VIDEO: Venetian blogger Federico Blumer visits the e-dock