Dutch company Port Liner is to introduce an autonomous electric barge for the European market beginning in August 2018. Port Liner CEO Ton van Meegen said that, from August, five autonomous electric barges would begin operating between the De Kempen intermodal terminal in the south of the Netherlands and Antwerp.
The barges are expected to remove 23,000 mainly diesel-powered trucks from roads in the region.
Larger barges, capable of handling up to 280 containers are expected to enter service between Amsterdam, Antwerp, and Rotterdam later this year.
The batteries are mounted in their own container, meaning that they can be used by existing vessels. “This allows us to retrofit barges already in operation, which is a big boost for the industry’s green energy credentials,” said van Meegen.