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£4.1m grant funding for electric workboat project

RS Electric Boats has received £4.1 million in grant funding for its Zero Emission Network of Workboats (ZENOW) project.

The funding, from the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions and Innovate UK, as part of its Zero Emissions Vessels and Infrastructure (ZEVI) competition brings the total project funding to £5.4 million.

The ZENOW project – a partnership of 15 UK marine businesses and organisations led by RS Electric Boats – will deploy 20 electric workboats, powered by five new Aqua Superpower chargers, code them ready for service and analyse the data over a three-year period to provide evidence, advice and support for harbours and marinas thinking of switching to electric.

“This data will give us, and RAD Propulsion, the know-how to understand how people operate the vessels,” explained Jon Partridge, RS Marine Group CEO. “Electric boats are wanted all round the world, and ZENOW will be able to offer a series of like for like cases, giving people the confidence that electric can work in their environments.”

The electric workboats, made up of 13 Pulse 63s, five 7.9m and two 8.9m Cheetah Marine electric workboats powered by RAD Propulsion’s RAD 40 drives and RAD 120 electric drives, will be delivered to ten UK locations by 1 March 2025.

The 20 boats will be connected virtually, with the project’s technology partners, RAD Propulsion and Aqua SuperPower, with operational and performance data collected.

“This kind of funding is vital in helping us to accelerate the adoption of zero emission vessels across the UK,” said says Dan Hook, CEO RAD Propulsion. “It means we can bring together 20 commercial workboats with partners ranging from harbourmasters, universities and government agencies.”

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