Japanese company e5 Lab has begun development of a standard model electrically powered vessel called the ROBOSHIP, with an integrated digital system called the ROBOSHIP BOX incorporating communications, Internet of Things (IoT) equipment and software.
The team is developing two types of electric vessels for ROBOSHIP Ver. 1.0, with standard gross tonnage specifications — 499 tons and 749 tons.
e5 Lab says that these craft will be able to achieve the same speed and sailing range as vessels currently in service, while achieving zero-emission operations in port by using large-capacity storage batteries in combination with a diesel-powered generator.
The onboard motors are powered only by electricity, and the current target is to maintain construction costs within 5% of the cost of comparable traditional vessels. ROBOSHIP Ver. 1.0 is slated for delivery in 2022.
As the technology matures, e5 Lab and its partners say they will look to offer the ROBOSHIP BOX and its EV powertrain as a commercial product to shipyards and shipowners.