In this blog Bas Durieux of Seijsener Marina Electrics zooms in on the latest developments around electric boats and its charging marina infrastructure in Amsterdam.
Professional shipping made the first move with marina infrastructure
Electric boats are becoming increasingly important. Take Amsterdam. The city has been working to reduce carbon emissions for years, and in a city where you have as many waterways as streets, there is big interest to make this change to sustainable boating. Professional canal cruise boats are almost entirely electric. Over the years Seijsener has installed many charging points for those boats across Amsterdam. Some of them are still temporary and built the municipality, but others like E-harbor, are future-proof marina concepts for electrically powered vessels in Amsterdam. All these projects are in close partnership with YoreOn.com, who are offering the platform services for power activation and payments. Some parts of professional shipping have been able to hold back these developments for a long time; it is a big job to get the required permits and it is expensive to convert the vessels. However, almost all professional vessels are now sailing using electric power, only the old museum ships are still allowed to run on fossil fuels.
Pleasure boats are next in line
There are still discussions about pleasure boats at the municipality of Amsterdam. By 2025, they must all be electric as well. One conversation starter is about charging points: how are we going to arrange for the required charging infrastructure? A nice opportunity for YoreOn.com in Amsterdam. Most pleasure boats in the city still are still powered fossil fuel. People wait to convert their boats until the last moment, which is understandable.
No standardisation yet
How the conversion will look is not entirely clear yet. It can be solved using fixed battery packs mounted in the boat, or separate battery packs similar to electric scooters. Small boats with an electric outboard engine can operate using an exchangeable battery system. Even the larger and heavier boats, sailing for longer periods, do not need a lot of power in the city, because the maximum speed restriction is quite low. The small dinghies with inboard engines, which are very common in Amsterdam, will be converted into electrically powered boats with fixed battery packs. There is clearly no standardisation in the boating industry yet. Electric cars use the type-2 charging cable at public charging stations offering two-way communications and options like load balancing and other charging management options. This does not exist for boats yet and needs to be explored in more detail. For now, all boats use a CEE plug, as we know them from campsites. That will change over time, no doubt.