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Electric boats transport tourists in Bruges

The tourism industry in Bruges might be one step closer to sustainable mobility

  • 18 gennaio 2020 20:00
  • Author Aseniya Dimitrova
Medium bruges boat
Fonte: Existing diesel boats in Bruges / Pixabay

Electric cars, buses, bikes or scooters: we have already seen many of these across the EU cities. But how about electric boats? Well, as of this week, you can see and try them out in Bruges, a city in northwest Belgium, part of the UNESCO World Heritage and famous for its canals. With the first electric tourist boat in the city having been introduced on Wednesday, the ratio of pros and cons is yet to be defined.

Less pollution and noise come at a price

A tourist visit to Bruges is not complete unless one embarks on a boat trip, says the tourism portal of Bruges. Now, said tourist visit has the potential to become more sustainable, thanks to the newly introduced e-vessels. The electric boats that are meant to replace existing diesel models cause no emissions, no odours and are considerably more silent. In addition, they cause less waves, therefore the boats do less damage to the quay walls.

The first of five boats that is already in operation is 9 metres long and 2.2 metres wide and is arguably more comfortable compared to the existing diesel tourist boats. It is powered by twenty lithium super B batteries in sealed watertight containers. However, it has a considerable downside – the e-boats cost approximately twice as much as a diesel boat or around 200 000 euros. Furthermore, fixing or replacing an engine in case of damage might prove particularly challenging with limited spare parts available.

However, all five shipping companies in Bruges are set to receive one electric boat to transport tourists soon, informs HLN. They are given financial support by the local tourist authority to install charging points and for the extension of the jetties. Also, as of last year and in relation to the purchase of the boat, the operators increased the cost of a trip by 25% or from 8 to 10 euros.



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