Crowley Reveals Design for the First All-Electric Tug in the U.S.

Illustration courtesy Crowley Maritime

Published Jul 12, 2021 10:09 PM by The Maritime Executive

Crowley Maritime has announced plans to build and operate the first all-electric harbor tug in the United States. 

The company's future "eWolf" design will generate 70 short tons of bollard pull without burning fuel or emitting pollutants. When compared with an equivalent conventional tug, it will eliminate emissions of 178 tons of NOx, 2.5 tons of particulate matter and 3,100 tonnes of CO2 over a ten-year period.

The electric tug will replace an existing vessel that consumes more than 30,000 gallons of diesel per year. It will be based at the Port of San Diego’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, and Crowley expects that it will be operational by mid-2023.

The eTug will be built by Alabama-based Master Boat Builders, with oversight by Crowley Engineering Services. Its battery system will be charged at a specially designed shoreside station developed with shore power specialist Cochran Marine. The tug will be fitted with ABB's electrical power systems and AI autonomous technology for navigational safety. 

"Crowley’s first-of-its-kind electric tugboat is a game changer. It checks all the boxes by providing environmental, economic, and operational benefits for our communities and maritime industry," said Chairman Michael Zucchet of the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. "We are proud to work with Crowley and couldn’t be more pleased the eWolf will operate exclusively on San Diego Bay."

Crowley is building the vessel with financial support and resources from the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District, the California Air Resources Board, the Port of San Diego, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Maritime Administration.