Innovation That Matters

The Black Swan boat | Photo source Renault

Seine riverboat powered by old EV batteries

Mobility & Transport

A French river tour company is using repurposed EV batteries from cars to power its new EV boats

Spotted: French river activity company, Seine Alliance, has unveiled the Black Swan, an electric boat designed for cruises on the Seine which is fitted with second-life batteries. To develop the boat, Seine Alliance partnered with Groupe Renault and Green-Vision. Their goal is to demonstrate ways in which the circular economy can be used to develop new transportation products.

After around ten years of use, lithium-ion batteries are too old to be used in electric cars, but they can still have other uses. The Black Swan uses two underwater directional units, called pods. Each pod is connected to two battery banks, for a total nominal power output of 20 kW, which is enough to propel the boat at the speed limit in operation along the Seine.

The EV passenger craft can take between two and eight people out onto the water for up to two hours at a time. Because it is electric, it also does not contribute to noise pollution along the Parisian waterway, further reducing the impact of river activities on the environment.

The Black Swan will go into service in the first quarter of 2020 and Seine Alliance plans to start refitting other boats with all-electric propulsion early in 2020. They are aiming to have its entire fleet run on 100 per cent EV by 2024.

Electric vehicles are seeing a huge surge in development and use as people become more aware of the impact of petroleum vehicles on the environment. Some exciting innovations in this space recently covered by Springwise include a hydrogen fuel cell bicycle and an all-electric passenger plane.



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