Renault has worked in partnership with French specialist maritime company
Seine Alliance and electric propulsion experts Green-Vision to develop the
first all-electric passenger boat powered by ‘second life’ batteries. Called
Black Swan, the new craft represents the first step towards Seine Alliance’s
commitment to an all-electric river cruise fleet by 2024.
Due to go into service in 2020, Black Swan can carry up to eight passengers
and pioneers the use of lithium-ion batteries that have already had their
‘first car life’ in Renault Z.E. vehicles. After being reconditioned these
cells are used to power a pair of 20 kW electric motors that allow two hours
cruising on the River Seine in Paris, while full charge will take just two
to three hours.
The Black Swan is based on an existing craft built by Italian firm Tullio
Abbate. Originally powered by a traditional internal combustion engine, it
now features four ‘second life’ batteries housed in specially designed,
water-tight stainless steel containers located beneath the boat’s bench
seats. The batteries and motors together weigh 278kg, which is less than the
combined total of the original fuel tank and engines.