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Enjoy the view of Niagara Falls from all-electric vessels

The dune buggy made a comeback as an EV 50 years after its initial appearance, and Harley-Davidson announced EV bikes in 2018, making it feel like the year in which the shift to EV gained much momentum. In 2019, even boats will be running on electricity.

All-electric vessels are set to be in use as tourist boats at the famous destination of Niagara Falls. Once built, they will replace two tourist boats called Maid of the Mist, currently operating in and around the Falls. The all-electric vessels will make it possible to experience Niagara Falls free from the diesel engine noise, vibration, and exhaust fumes that have plagued tourism at the Falls.

Their batteries are charged between tours at the shore, taking only seven minutes to do so. The catamarans will have rechargeable battery packs with a total capacity of 316 KWh equally divided between the hulls. They will boast two independent electric power systems for high redundancy. Electric power will be controlled by ABB’s PEMS energy management system, and energy use on board will also be optimized. Also, the batteries are charged using hydroelectric power, which is the largest source of renewable energy in the U.S. As a result, a completely zero-emission tourism boat operation energy cycle will be achieved through local consumption of locally-produced renewable energy. Given the current situation where water transportation accounts for two to three percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, sustainable transportation is expected to play an important role in curbing global warming.

Considering the momentum in the shift from traditional vehicles to EVs as noted above, surely we will have a sustainable mobility society in the not-so-distant future.

2019.06.24