As the world moves toward a sustainable future, some regions have an abundance of renewable energy, while others are at a geographical disadvantage. Japan-based startup PowerX has a solution with the world’s first electric battery tanker, “X,” designed to transport clean energy by sea.
What does PowerX do?
PowerX is a battery startup company on a mission to change how the world uses and transfers clean energy.
While most of the world’s energy today is transferred in the form of fossil fuels, PowerX is looking toward the future with an electric-powered ship that will carry clean energy to places that need it most.
To accomplish its mission, PowerX is designing and developing a “power transfer ship” to carry renewable electricity across the world and establish an “ocean power grid.”
The startup revealed plans last summer to establish its first gigafactory in Japan to produce battery storage solutions, including its Hypercharger, an ultrafast EV charger (up to 240kW) powered by renewable energy. In addition, PowerX will manufacture grid-scale stationary batteries, marine batteries, and home batteries.
Power Base, the company’s gigafactory, features a 5 GWh annual production capacity, equivalent to around 10,000 battery storage units for its various solutions.
Moving quickly, PowerX revealed the detailed design behind its inaugural ship, “X,” at Monday’s Bariship International Maritime Exhibition.
The electric tanker that will carry clean energy by sea
The 140-meter-long electric-powered battery tanker X features an electric cruising range of up to 300km to transport clean energy from offshore wind, from one grid to another or an island.
With 96 (2.5 MWh) marine-grade LFP batteries, the electric tanker can hold a total of 241 MWh of renewable energy. PowerX says the battery design is “highly scalable” and will be able to handle more batteries in the future.
An included power control system monitors the battery systems and charge controllers, relaying how much battery life is left.
The electric tanker is optimized for short-distance travel currently. Still, CEO Masahiro Ito says as battery density increases and costs decrease, the company will be able to carry more batteries for a longer distance.
The company aims to complete its first ship by 2025, with field testing planned to begin the following year.
PowerX signed an MoU and partnered with Kyushu Electric Power Co and the City of Yokohama to turn the concept into reality and decarbonize the ports. Moreover, a new company, Ocean Power Grid Inc., will be established later this year to handle the battery tanker operations.
The electric tanker will help connect grids, offshore wind farms, and islands with renewable energy where underground cables aren’t ideal due to seismic activity, deep water, etc.
As a result, regions with abundant renewable energy can share with those less fortunate for a cleaner, sustainable future for all.