A 2,000-metric-ton all-electric cargo ship has been launched in Guangzhou, China.

Manufactured by Guangzhou Shipyard International, the 70.5m (230ft) vessel uses a 2,400kWh battery system comprised of 1,000 individual lithium-ion packs. It has an 80km (50-mile) range, a 2,200-ton cargo load and a top speed of 8mph (12.8km/h). Recharging time is two hours, roughly equivalent to the time needed to load or unload the ship. There is zero emission of waste gas pollutants.

According to Chen Ji, general manager of Guangzhou Shipyard International, the ship will mainly run in the inland section of the Pearl River, carrying coal for electric power generation.

“The cost of electric power is less than that of traditional fuel. The main cost of the new energy cargo ship depends on how much lithium battery it is equipped with. Theoretically, the fully electric-powered ship could have more capacity in cargo loading. If it is equipped with larger-energy batteries, it will carry goods of more than 2,000 tons.”