World’s Largest Electric Cruise Ship Embarks On Maiden Voyage

The world’s most powerful electric cruise ship dubbed the ‘Yangtze River Three Gorges 1‘ was built in China. It embarked on its maiden voyage in Yichang on Tuesday. The 100-meter-long electric vessel is about 16.3 meters wide. It has the capacity to accommodate 1,300 guests and will be used for sightseeing trips on the Yangtze River near Yichang.

The ship is empowered by electricity provided by a battery with a capacity of 7,500 kilowatt-hours. This capacity is equal to that of over 100 electric cars. As a result, the vessel can travel up to 100 kilometers on just a single charge, which equals 530 metric tons of fuel. The expected reduction of emissions per year is 1,660 tons.

The Ministry of Transport along with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology sponsored this project to boost green transportation and clean energy.

Yangtze River Three Gorges 1
Image Credits: CGTN – Facebook

The electric ship was built by China Yangtze Power. About 150 million yuan was invested for the same purpose. Other leading manufacturers and research institutes include the Beijing University of Technology and China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. These institutions took part in the research and extensive development.

Zhang Xingliao, China Yangtze Power’s general manager mentioned that the ship generates both zero emissions and zero pollution, as it is enabled by clean hydropower electricity sourced from the Three Gorges Dam.

The unique ship boasts low noise and vibration, compared to the super high noise and intense vibrations typical in vessels that have diesel engines. The Yangtze River Three Gorges 1, as a result, can sail more smoothly and guests will feel more at ease.

The project developers managed to cut down the rate of equipment failure and maintenance and operation costs by equipping the electric ship with an automatic control and intuitive power management system.

Lei Mingshan, China Three Gorges Corp chair, said at the inauguration ceremony that the ship is a milestone toward the promotion of green transportation. It is also meant to protect the Yangtze River and a promise toward a low-carbon future.

Yangtze River Three Gorges 1 electric system
Image Credits: CGTN – Facebook

He added that the corporation is going to take the maiden voyage as a starting point for raising investments in the Yangtze basin’s zero-carbon industry.

Cheng Lu, one of the passengers from Wuhan, said that the electric ship sailed so smoothly that she did not even feel it moving.

She added that it was not her first time on an electric vessel, but her first time to ride on an electric ship so big. It was almost like the ship was sliding on flat ground.

Chen Guohai, 46, the ship’s captain, said that he was into sailing ships for more than two decades. However, it was the first time he maneuvered an electric variant. As the first captain of the ship, Chen said that he has gone on multiple trial voyages and had been sailing out every day over the past month for testing purposes.

An experienced captain on traditional vessels, Chen, informed that handling an electric vessel felt different. According to him, it could be because its operation is more flexible and the systems are entirely controlled by computers.


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