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U.S. Startup to Build a Fleet of Smaller All-Electric Vessels, for Future Green Shipping

A New Orleans startup in the maritime industry makes a bold claim, stating that “electrification is the only way to decarbonize ships without increasing costs.” At the moment, there are several hybrid-electric cargo ships operating all over the world, but this young company believes in the viability and performance of a future fleet comprised of all-electric, battery-swapping vessels.
Fleetzero aims to get its first electric cargo vessel on water by 2023 7 photos
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Fleetzero is the name of a company founded by U.S. Merchant Marine Academy graduates who are committed to a future where green shipping will eliminate most of the CO2 emission levels typically associated with this industry.

To achieve that, they plan to build an entire fleet of smaller cargo vessels running on batteries. Until their future flagship, an innovative long-range electric cargo ship, can take to the sea, the company is making existing diesel ships better by converting them to battery-electric operations.

Fleetzero developed a marine battery system that offers 2 MWh of energy storage per pack, with an ultra-rugged design and an automatic onboard fire hazard safety system. Offshore Energy reports that the company is currently seeking regulatory approval for its lithium iron phosphate battery pack that can fit into a standard cargo container.

The first Fleetzero electric cargo vessel is planned to conduct its maiden voyage by mid-2023, with more ships to follow. According to the startup, smaller vessels will also be able to access ports that larger container ships can’t and will be more cost-effective in terms of building and operations.

Also, the advancement of battery technology has reached a point where larger battery packs are becoming a competitive alternative to conventional fuel, so the company says it won’t have to charge a green premium when it kicks off operations. Costs will be further reduced through battery swapping.

Fleetzero’s ambitious plans are supported by the My Climate Journey (MCJ) investment fund, along with other partners. Fleets of smaller ships equipped with powerful battery packs could soon be at the forefront of green cargo deliveries.

 
 
 
 
 

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