Torqeedo powering electric workboat fleet in China

China is taking environmental cleanup seriously and is at the forefront of adopting electric propulsion China is taking environmental cleanup seriously and is at the forefront of adopting electric propulsion

The City of Suzhou in eastern China has deployed a fleet of electric workboats powered by Torqeedo motors as part of a programme to clean up its canals and waterways.

Suzhou Creek, which flows through the city to Shanghai, was at one time said to be the most contaminated waterway in China, filled with sewage and garbage. Over the past decade, the river has undergone a major transformation and is an acclaimed environmental success story.

“This successful large-scale deployment of our proven Cruise-series electric outboards is an important validation of Torqeedo’s clean, green technology,” said Christoph Ballin, CEO of Torqeedo.

“China is taking environmental cleanup seriously and is at the forefront of adopting electric propulsion to reduce air and water pollution."

Clean-up programme

As part of the clean-up programme, the Suzhou River Management Administration commissioned the construction of 177 vessels designed specifically to remove floating debris from the water.

The administration specified electric-powered boats for the project because of their environmentally friendly footprint and after a competitive evaluation the builder selected German company Torqeedo as the supplier of electric motors for the boats.

Torqeedo has now completed outfitting the entire fleet, which includes 18 nine-metre steel catamarans with twin Cruise 4.0 outboards, 22 seven-metre steel catamarans with twin Cruise 2.0 outboards and 137 five/six-metre wooden boats with Cruise 2.0 outboards.

The boats, which use specially designed equipment to scoop up and capture floating items in the water, were designed and built by China Ship Scientific Research Center.

Torqeedo develops and manufactures electric and hybrid drives from 0.5 to 100kW for commercial applications and recreational use. The company is part of the DEUTZ Group, a leading independent suppliers of diesel and natural gas engines.


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