Initiative lobbies to replace Venice fleet with electric motor boats

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A new initiative is aiming to replace Venice’s current fleet of motor boats with zero emission, electric vessels by 2028. The campaign has been launched by Venice in Peril, a committee consisting of academics, electric boat associations and representatives of the city.

Their combined objective is “to transform Venice’s motor boats into a modern fleet of non-polluting, zero emission vessels,” in the hope of “reducing the fumes, the noise, the vibration and the wave-making.”

The committee has urged Venice to follow the example of measures set by a number of other European countries, such as Amsterdam, where all tourist, commercial and private motor boats must be 100% electric by 2025. Similarly, all ferries operating on the Oslo fjord in Norway must be using renewable energy by 2020. “To survive, the lagoon city must enter the 21st century,” the committee warned.

The committee currently estimates it would cost around €310 million to convert the existing airport shuttles, water taxis, private motor boats and vaporetti waterbuses, the latter of which currently consume 21 million litres of fuel alone.

As a result, it has compiled an international list of suppliers of electric boats and engines to meet the Venetian demand and has launched a petition entitled Electrifying Venice, which is fast approaching its target of 500 signatories.

The petition lobbies Venice mayor Signor Luigi Brugnaro and patriarch of Venice, Monsignor Francesco Moraglia, to organise the replacement of the current fleet with emissions-free boats by 2028.