The Ports of Auckland in New Zealand aims to be carbon-neutral by 2040—and Sparky the tugboat will help the organization get there. The world’s first full-size fully-electric tugboat, named by New Zealanders in a public vote and built by Damen Shipyards, the blue and green vessel has 2,240 batteries that together offer 2,784 kilowatts hours of power. Translation: Sparky can pull up to 70 metric tons, no less than the Ports’ strongest diesel tugboat. But the new tug, which arrived in June, offers a smoother, quieter ride, while preventing 465 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually via diesel exhaust. “Sparky is transformational in setting the tone for an industry that uses a lot of fuel,” says Julie Wagener of the Ports of Auckland.
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