Electric Tugboat Hums Into San Diego

Author:

Category:

The eWolf is one of many ways the Port of San Diego is reducing emissions.

You may think of tugboats as old-fashioned toys or characters in a kids’ book, but they’re big business and extremely powerful. There are over 6,000 tugboats operating in the U.S., and with an average of about 2,500 horsepower, they use a lot of fuel to push huge vessels around: These 6,000 boats produce about as many greenhouse gas emissions as 1.3 million cars.

The eWolf will reduce diesel fuel use at the Port by 35,000 gallons annually, eliminating over 300 tons of CO2 emissions. It’s also the most-powerful tug at the Port.

But one new tugboat here at the Port of San Diego is not like the others. The eWolf is an electric tug, the first of its kind in the U.S., and one of only a handful in the world. Built by Master Boat Builders in Alabama, and owned and operated by Crowley of Jacksonville, Fla., the eWolf will reduce diesel fuel use at the Port by 35,000 gallons annually, eliminating over 300 tons of CO2 emissions. It’s also the most-powerful tug at the Port. While it cost roughly double an equivalent diesel-powered vessel (about $13 million in grants defrayed the cost), Crowley expects operating and maintenance costs to be substantially lower. 

The Port has installed first-in-the-nation electric cranes, as well as electric forklifts, and emissions-reducing shore power for cruise ships.

The Port is moving full steam ahead to reduce its emissions, partly as result of a 2020 California executive order that directed state agencies to transition off-road vehicles and equipment to 100 percent zero emissions by 2035. The Port has installed first-in-the-nation electric cranes, as well as electric forklifts, and emissions-reducing shore power for cruise ships.

Our journalism has been and always will be free.

For as little as $5 per month, you can help us continue to deliver stories that shine light on a better world. Contribute Now.

For their part, Crowley has pledged to be net-zero in greenhouse gasses from operations by 2050, and is involved in wind power, carbon capture, and electric vehicle projects. The eWolf will begin operations in April.


Latest Stories

Playing the Long Game With I Love a Clean San Diego

Times may have changed in the last 70 years, but as long as San Diego has trash, ILACSD will teach us better habits.

RECIPE: Morning Glory Cocktail

This refreshing citrusy cocktail is made with egg whites, blood orange simple syrup, orange bitters, and vodka.

Mooo-ving Towards Clean Energy

The cows are fueling clean energy on the dairy farm at northern California's Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company.

The City Farmers Experience

Take a day trip to this garden nursery and explore a hidden gem in the heart of our city — and don’t expect to see everything in one visit.

Jim Miller
Jim Miller
Jim Miller, co-editor of Bluedot San Diego and Bluedot Santa Barbara, has been an environmental economist for over 25 years, in the private sector, academia, and the public service. He enjoys sharing his knowledge through freelance writing, and has been published in The Washington Post and Martha’s Vineyard magazine. He’s always loved nature and the outdoors, especially while on a bicycle.
Read More

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here