Crowley’s All-electric Tug eWolf Starts Sea Trials

The first all-electric tugboat built in the United States, Crowley’s eWolf, has started sea trials along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The 82-foot ship assist tug, built by Coden, Ala. shipbuilder Master Boat Builders, is expected to enter service at the Port of San Diego in 2024. Video footage of the vessel on sea trials was shared by Crowley on social media.

The eWolf is designed to operate on full electric power, producing zero carbon emissions and expected 70 ton bollard pull strength. The vessel is equipped with an integrated electrical package provided by ABB, a 6.2 MWh Orca battery energy storage system from Corvus Energy and two electrically driven Schottel RudderPropellers type SRP 430 LE (2,050 kW each) featuring propeller diameters of 2.5 meters. The vessel also has two small generators on board for emergency use and to enable long distance transits at a reduced speed.

The tug’s battery system will be charged at a specially designed shoreside station featuring two Corvus Orca BOBs (battery on board), the containerized version of the Corvus Orca ESS.

The vessel is designed to ABS class and compliant with U.S. Coast Guard Subchapter M regulations.

The Jones Act compliant all-electric tug—the first-of-its-kind in the U.S.—is a result of a partnership among Crowley, the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District, the California Air Resources Board, the Port of San Diego, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Maritime Administration, which all provided financial support and other resources.

Vessel owners and operators are increasingly considering hybrid and fully electric vessels as part of efforts to reduce emissions.

Crowley in 2021 announced its commitment to reach net-zero emissions across all scopes by 2050. The Jacksonville, Fla.-based company estimates it will reduce overall emissions by 4.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gases per year.

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