Pilot project for emission-free river cruises launched

Torqeedo has announced that it has been commissioned by Eichberger Schiffservice to provide a fully integrated electric propulsion system for a demonstrator of a luxurious and innovative houseboat developed by Eichberger.

A fuel cell from Argo-Anleg and solar panels will also be integrated, so tourists who rent the “Kingfisher” can look forward to a multi-day, 100% emission-free travel experience on Germany’s inland waterways.

“Eichberger Schiffservice GmbH has recognised that tourists are increasingly looking for more sustainable holiday options. At Torqeedo, we are delighted to deliver our electric drive systems for a pioneering project such as the ‘Kingfisher.’ As a provider of comprehensive system solutions, one of Torqeedo’s core competencies is the integration of solar and hydrogen technologies into the ship’s propulsion system to achieve the desired range. Eichberger Schiffservice GmbH is setting new standards in tourism with us, and together, we are showing that luxury and sustainability do not have to be a contradiction in terms,” explains Matthias Vogel, senior vice president of customized solutions at Torqeedo.

Energy from solar power and hydrogen combustion

The idea for the development of the Kingfisher originated with Eichberger Schiffsservice GmbH. The Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, as part of the Bavarian Energy Research Programme, has financially supported the project from the outset. The Kiebitzberg shipyard in Havelberg is responsible for building the “Kingfisher” demonstrator, which will be equipped with the powerful Deep Blue 50i engine and Deep Blue battery 80 with a capacity of 80 kWh from Torqeedo. The integrated fuel cell from Argo-Anleg enables a completely energy-self-sufficient stay on the water for several days with a daily travel time of four hours. The prototype will also be equipped with solar panels on the houseboat’s wide roofs, which can generate additional energy of up to 3 kW per hour during longer periods of mooring.

Prototype launch planned for this year

“Thanks to Torqeedo’s many years of experience with pioneering propulsion systems, we can realise our vision of hydrogen propulsion for smaller charter boats. As hydrogen propulsion systems are still quite new on the water, we are working with our engineers and the relevant authorities to develop guidelines during the testing phase. Our goal is to ensure safe use on the water,” explains Manfred Eichberger from Eichberger Schiffservice GmbH.

The demonstrator charter houseboat is scheduled to be completed by September this year, followed by an extensive test phase on the river. After its test phase, the “Kingfisher” will go into trial operation and lay the foundation for the series development of up to ten units, with the aim of expanding Eichberger Schiffservice GmbH’s portfolio to include emission-free charter houseboats in the future.

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