WUHAN – The first electric cruise vessel for sightseeing along the Yangtze, China’s longest river, will begin operation before the end of the year, according to the developer China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation.
The company said on Wednesday that the development of the 1,000-tonne vessel is the country’s first step in replacing vessels powered with oil fuel with electric ones on the river. The company is also building charging infrastructure along the river to facilitate the move.
Zhou Linghui, with the company’s design institute, said the double-decker vessel, shaped like a white dolphin, is 52.5 meters long with a maximum carrying capacity of 300 passengers.
He said the vessel is powered by 25 tonnes of lithium batteries, equivalent to the battery capacity of 50 family cars.
The vessel discharges no pollution to the river. It also reduces the noise and risks of disturbing aquatic animals in the river with its new propelling system, according to Zhou.
Zhou said a single charge takes six hours, and provides a traveling distance of 120 km.
The vessel, with its glass walls for better views, will operate on the Wuhan section of the river in Central China’s Hubei province.