Electrifying The River Walk’s Barges
By Mike Osenga15 December 2017
A new fleet of 43 custom passenger boats deployed in October in San Antonio, Texas, is powered by electric propulsion systems from Torqeedo, now part of the Deutz Group.
Built by Lake Assault Boats, Superior, Wis., each of the new 27 ft. vessels are driven by a complete Torqeedo electric propulsion system, including a Cruise 10.0 electric outboard engine and 16 Power 26-104 lithium batteries. The system is designed for automatic recharging with a built-in shorepower connection onboard.
The Torqeedo Cruise 10.0 outboard engine provides 12 kW peak output and 10 kW continuous output, equivalent to a 20 hp combustion engine, Torqeedo said. The propulsion system includes remote throttle and steering connections and an integrated onboard computer with GPS-based range calculation.
The new barges typically cruise at four knots and can normally operate up to 12 hours without recharging, according to the barges’ operators. The boats seat 40 passengers and have five distinct barge rail patterns and can be configured to support multiple roles for tours, dining, water taxis, entertaining and special events, such as the annual Ford Holiday River Parade.
“Sustainability and care for the environment were a top priority for the new fleet,” said John Jacks, City of San Antonio Center City Development and Operations Director. “These new boats give passengers a unique experience, cruising smoothly and quietly through the San Antonio River, consuming no fuel and keeping our air clean.”