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World’s largest electric cruise ship sets sail in China

Baku, April 4, AZERTAC

The world’s largest electric cruise ship has made its maiden voyage, settling back into port in Yichang in China’s central Hubei province after cruising up and down the Yangtze River.

Powered by a massive 7,500 kilowatt-hour marine battery from the world’s No. 1 battery manufacturer for electric cars, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd., the ship will go into commercial operations from next month, being used mainly for sightseeing trips.

At 100 meters long and around 16 meters wide, the Yangtze River Three Gorges 1 can carry up to 1,300 passengers. It can travel for around 100 kilometers on a single charge, saving around 530 metric tons of fuel.

Developer China Yangtze Power Co., a subsidiary of Three Gorges Corp. and Hubei Three Gorges Tourism Group, plans to use the ship as a starting point to expand China’s marine electric vehicle market, including building a network of charging points along the river, the Global Times reported in January.

“It felt almost like sliding on flat ground,” Cheng Lu, one passenger on board the ship, told China Daily on Wednesday.

Chen Guohai, the ship’s captain, said the vessel’s computer-controlled systems were a major boon. “Before, I used my own experience to determine if any equipment went wrong,” he said. “Now it’s all monitored by computers. For problems regarding electricity consumption and battery endurance, there are data for comparison and automatic control.”

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