London’s first fully electric workboat sets sail
Cross River Partnership (CRP) has launched Alb-E, London’s first fully electric workboat, at Butler’s Wharf on 14th November 2023. CRP collaborated with the vessel’s operator, Net Zero Marine to convert the vessel from diesel to electric-powered.
Partially funded by Defra, the converted vessel has now been named Alb-E, from Albert originally.
Before work on the vessel started, CRP monitored its emissions to quantify how much air pollution would be eliminated by the conversion. An analysis of the data from the monitoring exercise showed that 2.34 tonnes of carbon dioxide, 41.58 kg of nitrogen oxides and 0.012 kg of particulate matter per year have been removed by switching the vessel from diesel to electric.
Another benefit is the potential long-term cost savings from running an electric vessel. Based on fuel pricing in September 2023, Alb-E can cover 75 nautical miles on a single charge at £58. The same distance would have cost £246 if it was still powered by diesel. Alb-E has been received positively both domestically and abroad.
Miles Cole, Managing Director, Net Zero Marine, said: “The retrofit of the Alb-E shows how important organisations such as Cross River Partnership are for the River Thames. The marine sector has taken a step forward here and we hope that many workboats will follow in the footsteps of Alb-E.”
Jonathan Angus, Director, TMS Engineering, said: “We are pleased to have successfully helmed the creation of London's inaugural carbon-neutral, electric vessel project. Our dedicated and passionate team met the challenge, working relentlessly to bring to life the vision of our partner, Net Zero Marine Services. Our team designed the electrical package to ensure a speed and range compatible with the needs of a workboat operating on the Thames. Alb-E sets a new benchmark with its capability to traverse the full length of the tidal Thames on a single charge.”