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An aerial view of the eWolf all-electric tug

The all-electric tug eWolf. Photo courtesy Crowley

Crowley Takes Delivery of Groundbreaking Battery-Powered Tug ‘eWolf’

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 3897
January 24, 2024

US-based Crowley has taken delivery of the United States’ first all-electric, ship assist harbor tugboat, named eWolf.

Designed by Crowley’s in-house engineering services team, eWolf is set to operate with zero emissions, matching the full performance capabilities of conventional, fuel-powered tugs.

Not only is the eWolf the first all-electric, battery-powered harbor tug ever built and operated in the United States, it’s also only the third of its kind to enter operations worldwide. 

Upon completion of Crowley’s microgrid shoreside charging station, the 82-foot harbor tug will operate at the Port of San Diego. Harbor operations are expected to commence in spring 2024.

The introduction of the eco-friendly tugboat marks a significant step towards Crowley’s commitment to sustainability and decarbonization. Crowley has committed to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across all scopes by 2050

“The eWolf will provide services through its advanced vessel control technology and first-in-class energy features, while providing the safety, quality and reliability that Crowley and our mariners are known for,” said James Fowler, senior vice president and general manager of Crowley Shipping. “We are thrilled to reach this important achievement for our company and the U.S. maritime industry through the collaboration with our partners.”

The delivery of eWolf is the product of a collaboration between Crowley and various federal, state, and local government partners.

Constructed by Master Boat Builders in Alabama, eWolf is projected to generate significantly fewer pollutants over its first decade of operations. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculations, the vessel will produce 178 tons less of nitrogen oxide, 2.5 tons less of diesel particulate matter, and 3,100 metric tons fewer carbon dioxide emissions over the first 10 years of its operation. This reduction is equivalent to removing 350,000 gallons of gas from use.

The vessel’s propulsion system is provided by ABB. The package includes a six-megawatt-hour energy storage system (ESS) for 70 short-tons of bollard pull. The battery allows the tug to complete a full day of typical work before there is a need to recharge. 

“The eWolf demonstrates where the maritime industry can go, in terms of both innovation and sustainability, with solid partnerships between owners, designers, suppliers and shipyards,” said Garrett Rice, president of Master Boat Builders. “We are proud to have partnered with Crowley in the construction of the eWolf and look forward to seeing her at work in San Diego very soon.”

The project partners include the Port, San Diego County Air Pollution Control District, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the U.S. EPA, and the U.S. Maritime Administration.

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