National Park Rangers on Loch Lomond can now be seen but not heard as they cruise the water on a new fully electric boat. The zero direct emissions vessel is the latest addition to the National Park Authority’s marine fleet and is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK. Unlike the distinctive hum heard from a traditional diesel powered boat, the electric maintenance boat is almost silent as it moves across the loch, creating less disturbance to surrounding wildlife and zero water pollution. The boat is three times more efficient than a traditional petrol or diesel boat.
Charlotte Wallace, Climate Action Manager at Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority said: “Our Mission Zero routemap is bold and ambitious but that is exactly what is needed in the face of the climate crisis we are facing.
“As a National Park Authority, we believe it is important that we demonstrate leadership on climate action and that starts with getting our own house in order. Emissions reduction is our top priority.
“A fully electric boat is a big step forwards and although the technology isn’t as advanced for electric boats as it is for cars, we can’t wait for things to be perfect before we take action, we need to be willing to trial new technology and learn as we go.”
Custom-built to the National Park Authority’s precise specifications by Liverpool based Water Witch, the vessel’s 12kW motor is powered by four powerful lithium batteries. Rangers can spend six to eight hours out on the loch before the boat needs charged and maintenance and running costs for the boat are expected to be cheaper.
Jackie Caddick, director of Water Witch, says there has been a huge increase in enquiries for all-electric vessels, with some existing owners even looking to upgrade their current vessels. “We’ve kept with the outboard configuration to make installation quick and cost-effective, and maintaining the ability to keep our hull configurations to a standard design, which reduces manufacturing time and costs. It also allows us to retrofit the fuel-free, electric drive option easily. With over 85 of these vessels currently in service worldwide, we expect to see an increasing demand for the zero-emission option with clients looking to improve their carbon footprint.”