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An electric cargo ship is delivering coal in China

The 2,000 ton capacity ship is powered by 1,000 lithium batteries.
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Zhang Peng via Getty Images

An all-electric cargo ship is now in use in China and it boasts an impressive 2.4 MWh energy storage capacity, Electrek reports. The ship is over 230 feet long, 45 feet wide and 14 feet deep and can carry a maximum of 2,000 tons. Supercapacitors and lithium batteries make up the energy storage system and the ship can go about 50 miles on one charge. It will run between two shipyards, each of which has a charging station that can recharge the ship in around two hours.

Moving towards electric power will be important for the shipping industry and this vessel is a step in that direction. Its payload however, is, wait for it, coal. And that may seem like an odd pairing but at least the ship isn't burning fossil fuels while it's carrying them. Tesla, Daimler, Cummins and Toyota are all working on shipping trucks that use alternative fuels and pushing our cargo ships in that direction will do a lot for the environment.

The ship, which took its maiden voyage last month, will transport coal along the Pearl River in China's Guangdong Province.

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