Shift Gets Ready to Power 17 All-Electric and Hybrid Tugs

Vallianz's E-Tug project (Illustration courtesy Vallianz)

Published Sep 28, 2022 10:53 PM by The Maritime Executive

In a sign that battery-electric and battery-hybrid systems are taking off in the workboat sector, Shift Clean Energy says that it will be supplying energy storage systems for 17 new hybrid and electric tugs. Its customers include Vallianz and ZEEboat for fully electric tugs and additional customers are lined up for projects for large-scale hybrid, set for delivery in 2023-4. 

All-electric tugs are finding a new home in the marketplace, especially for ship-assist roles. Turkey's ZEETug has had one in service since 2019 and two more under construction; the Ports of Auckland put its first electric harbor tug in operation this year; and Crowley Maritime is building an electric tug for use in the California harbor towing market. 

According to Shift, an e-tug will eliminate at least 150 tons of NOx and 2,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year when compared with an equivalent conventional tug. This is about the same as removing 500 passenger vehicles from the road. 

"Safety and industry leading cost efficiency are at the core of delivering these projects," said Brent Perry, CEO and founder of Shift. "We are proving that decarbonization with our ESS systems is simple to implement and reaps a myriad of environmental and economical benefits."

Among other initiatives, Shift has partnered with Yinson on the new Hydromover, a unique all-electric cargo vessel; Vallianz's E-tug project, the first of its kind in Asia; and ISS' all-electric Zeeboat project, which aims to deliver up to four all-electric tugs for the U.S. market by 2025. 

“Time is of the essence," said Perry. "We have to act now and the 17 tugboats that will be using our ESS systems are a step in the right direction.”