Port of San Diego to get first electric tug in the US

Back in 2019, New Zealand’s Ports of Auckland commissioned the world’s first full-size electric tug, which first hit the water in December 2020, ahead of scheduled delivery toward the end of this year. Now the first electric tug in the US is being built to serve the Port of San Diego.

Named the eWolf, the 82-ft (25-m) electric tug is expected to have 70 short-tons of bollard pull capabilities, rocks electric render/recover winches at the bow and stern, and has been designed for 360-degree visibility from the pilot’s station.

It will be home to a 6.2-MWh (or more) main propulsion battery array, which will power two 2,100-kW Ramme electric motors to get the vessel up to a top speed of 12 knots (13.8 mph/22.2 km/h). No per-charge range figures have been supplied at this point, but expectations are that it will be able to complete its ship-assist mission in the harbor before needing to head to the specially designed shoreside charging station developed with Cochran Marine.

The eWolf’s battery system is modular to allow for some future proofing, enabling relatively painless upgrades as new battery technology becomes available, and autonomous operation has been included in the design brief for future implementation.

It’s being built to Crowley’s specifications by Alabama’s Master Boat Builders, and is destined to replace an existing tug that currently consumes more than 30,000 gallons of diesel per year. And as with the design for RSD-E Tug 2513 built by the Damen Shipyards Group for the Ports of Auckland, the electric ship-assist tug will accommodate two small diesel generators onboard as a back up/safety measure.

The eWolf is expected to begin operations at the Port of San Diego’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal from mid-2023. The video below has more.

Crowley Will Build and Operate the First Fully Electric U.S. Tugboat

Source: Crowley Maritime

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