"E-Spatz" is Inland Vessel of the Year

The first WSV workboat with purely battery-electric drive wins prestigious award

Mülheim an der Ruhr / Lutherstadt Wittenberg, 04.03.2024 – The Spatz, the tried-and-tested working vessel of the German Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration, was launched in August 2023 as an electrified version with a battery storage system from TESVOLT. It has now been awarded the prestigious title of "Inland Vessel of the Year" by the Hansa editorial team. The E-Spatz is the first working vessel of its kind to have a purely battery-electric drive and represents a milestone on the road to emission-free inland shipping.

One load lasts for three days

The E-Spatz has been jointly developed in recent years by the German Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV) and the Bolle shipyard. The innovative electronics of the E-Spatz were provided by the companies Kadlec & Brödlin, Jastram and TESVOLT. 

The workboat with the innovative drive will ensure traffic safety on the rivers and canals of the West German canal network. Its tasks include construction and maintenance work on the waterways as well as, for example, sounding work. Unlike its diesel-powered predecessor, the E-Spatz is powered exclusively by two electric motors with 80 kW (109 hp) each.

TESVOLT supplied the battery storage system with a total capacity of 980 kilowatt hours (kWh). Seven water-cooled battery modules, each with a capacity of 10 kWh, are located in 14 racks. Each of the 98 modules is constantly monitored by the battery management system. This means that there is always clarity about the temperature or charge and health status of the installed cells. The batteries are charged via a connection point for shore power cables located at the rear of the E-Spatz with a maximum output of 125 amps (A). Charging usually takes place at night. Depending on the type of work, the E-Spatz can be operated for up to three days on one battery charge.

Active for clean waters and climate protection

Michael Miebach, Business Development Manager Maritime Solutions at TESVOLT: "The 'Barge of the Year' award not only recognises the technological achievements of the E-Spatz, but also the commitment and cooperation of all the companies involved and the WSV in this pioneering project. There is no alternative to the electrification of shipping on the way to cleaner waters and the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions. As TESVOLT, we are actively driving the transition to a more environmentally conscious and sustainable maritime industry."

Starting signal for forward-looking fleet

With over 600 ships, the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration is the largest inland shipping company in Germany. The WSV currently operates around 130 Spatz vessels alone, which are to be equipped with low-emission drives in the future after the E-Spatz pilot has been trialled. The electrification that has now begun is the starting signal for a pioneering generation of environmentally friendly ships.


About TESVOLT AG - Maritime Solutions: With its Maritime Solutions division, TESVOLT AG is a leading provider of innovative energy storage solutions for the maritime industry. The company develops advanced lithium-ion battery systems for an emission-free future in the shipping industry. More information: www.tesvolt-maritime.com 


TESVOLT AG is one of the innovation and market leaders for commercial and industrial energy storage system solutions in Germany and Europe. TESVOLT products enable companies to end their energy dependency and play a part in the energy transition. The agile company produces intelligent lithium storage systems with power ratings from 10 kilowatt hours through to multiple megawatt hours – with top quality and TÜV-certified safety. TESVOLT manufactures its commercial storage system solutions in series production at its own carbon-neutral gigafactory in Lutherstadt Wittenberg and delivers them worldwide. The company has already received several awards, including the German Entrepreneur Award in the “Rising Stars” category, “Innovator of the Year” from TOP 100 and the smarter E Award in the “Outstanding Projects” category.

Press Contact

Ingo Valldorf
Corporate & Financial Communications

Phone: +49 3491 8797-234

E-mail: ingo.valldorf@tesvolt.com

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