Cruising The Amsterdam Canals Is About To Become Much More Sustainable
Ahead of the 2025 diesel engine ban put in place by Amsterdam’s new Green Party, the city’s popular canal boats are going fully electric.
The iconic canal boats transport nearly 4 million passengers annually and are one of Amsterdam’s most popular tourist attractions. According to a Reuters report, each individual boat can be in use up to 14 hours per day, respectively.
While the idea of a fully electric fleet of canal boats does sound like a much more sustainable alternative to such a popular tourist draw, transition from diesel engines to fully electric ones doesn’t happen overnight.
According to city spokesman Wouter Keuning, nearly 75 percent of the city’s 550 commercial boats are already running on sustainable energy and the city is now actively working on the installation of chargers, which is “a rather complex project.” Until then, boat operators have been getting by using their personal charging devices.
“People always overestimate what they can do in one year, but they underestimate what they can do in 10-20 years,” Kees Koolen, founder of Super B, which supplied the batteries used in the new commercial water vehicles, told Reuters.
While the city is doing its all to ensure the copious number of tourist boats are efficiently running on green energy in the next year or so, privately owned boats are still lagging behind. The city estimates there are upwards of 12,000 personal or private boats on the waterways, but a paltry 5 percent of those are currently considered emission-free. As the city nears closer to the diesel ban, it’s expected that most privately owned boats will be sold, exported, and replaced with electric alternatives.
Even so, the city is pacing to achieve its goal of being fully electric by 2025—and those planning to commission a commercial boat on the canals will not only be able to do so with a green conscious, but will also enjoy a more peaceful experience as the electric alternatives offer a much more quiet ride through the waterways.