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Paris will be a lighthouse for electric mobility on the water

The Seine may soon be the world’s greenest river and Paris boat operators are leading the way.

The City of Paris has set ambitious goals to improve air quality and reduce the city’s carbon footprint in conjunction with the upcoming Olympic Games in 2024. Dubbed “Green Paris”, these goals will, in large part, be reached through transitioning to clean electric mobility.

In his position as President of Communauté Portuaire de Paris (CPP), Olivier Jamey launched a study to explore bringing the Green Paris movement to the River Seine, the iconic river that divides the city and serves as an important commercial and recreational resource for its people. Torqeedo, the world leader in marine electric mobility, is one of the partners in the study and in the future electrification of the River Seine fleet. The study is supported by public subsidies from the national and regional governments.

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“The Communaute Portuaire de Paris represents Paris’ boat operators, who fully understand the need to reduce the carbon impact of our operations. We started the study to understand the regulations, equipment, infrastructure, technologies and costs which are necessary to refit the fleet of Paris to electric motors. We are evaluating each use case: boats that are used for sightseeing, restaurants, private events, or freight transport have different requirements and need a propulsion solution that meets those specific needs. We are proceeding step-by-step to evaluate the economics, the available technology and how to make the most rapid gains. Hydrogen shows great potential, for instance, but needs time to become a local reality.”

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More than 200 boats ply the 13 km section of the Seine that flows through Paris. The Seine at large represents 50% of the total inland river traffic in France and 80% of the passenger-boats activity. The intensive use means a significant reduction in the city’s carbon footprint may be accomplished by transitioning the fleet to clean electric power.

“The Seine is the beating heart of this great city and the local boats welcome 8 million passengers per year. The river’s importance to the history, culture and urban logistics of Paris, and to its vital tourism industry, will only be enhanced by serving as a shining light of sustainability and green technology for the upcoming Olympic Games,” said Jamey.

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“Torqeedo brings a line of industrially produced, fully integrated electric drive systems which will suit the needs of a substantial part of the Paris fleet,” Jamey continued. “The company’s electric motor and battery systems are also compatible with innovative monitoring equipment that will simplify fleet management and provide important data for the operators.”

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“Torqeedo is honoured to participate in this visionary plan to create a clean, emission-free and tranquil River Seine,” said Dr. Christoph Ballin, CEO of Torqeedo. “The Paris fleet’s transition to high-tech electric drives will enhance the enjoyment of the fleet’s passengers and help to accomplish the goals of Green Paris.”