Evolving with Electric Vessels and Digital Transformation

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(Image Courtesy: e5 Lab Inc.)

TOKYO—e5 Lab is aiming to realize a sustainable society. The company has started developing the ROBOSHIP, the standard models of electrically powered vessels to realize zero emissions, as well as an integrated system called the “ROBOSHIP BOX,” which brings together telecommunications, the Internet of Things (IoT), and software. The company, led by president Tomoaki Ichida is headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.

Through this initiative, e5 Lab is working to address critical issues facing Japan’s ocean shipping and maritime industries, including a shortage of seafarers, environmental concerns, safety, and the sustainable growth of the shipbuilding/ship machinery sectors. With strategic partners in Japan and overseas, the development project team targets the commercialization of electric-powered merchant vessels that adopt world-class propulsion systems at the most competitive price in the global market.

Developing Standard Models of Electric Vessels, ROBOSHIP Ver. 1.0

The team developed two types of electric vessels in the ROBOSHIP Ver. 1.0, with standard gross tonnage specifications — 499 tons and 749 tons. They will be able to achieve the same speed and sailing range as vessels currently in service, while achieving zero-emission operation in port, due to the large-capacity storage batteries in combination with a diesel-powered generator. These vessels will achieve higher energy efficiency than other vessels in service with the e5 Lab partners’ knowledge and experience, as well as the world’s most efficient electric devices (DC grids, PM motors, AI technology).

The ROBOSHIP Ver. 1.0 can significantly reduce not only the workload of seafarers, but also lower the risk of mechanical problems and decrease maintenance costs, because the motors are powered only by electricity. The team’s current target is to keep construction costs less than 5% above the cost of comparable existing vessels. The ROBOSHIP Ver. 1.0 is slated for delivery within 2022.

Electric Vessel, DX Accelerate Evolution of Ocean Shipping and Maritime Affairs with ROBOSHIP BOX

e5 Lab, along with the partners, will promote the ROBOSHIP and accelerate maritime digital transformation (DX) by offering the ROBOSHIP BOX as well as the EV powertrain, which is a key technology of the ROBOSHIP, to all interested shipyards and shipowners. The ROBOSHIP BOX is the foundation that connects the vessel and shore and enables shore-side support using digital technology. The broad application of the ROBOSHIP and ROBOSHIP BOX will realize competitive and value-added vessels from various aspects such as environmental friendliness, economy, quality, and performance, with the goal achieving a transition to electric vessels and digitalization in the ocean shipping and maritime industries.

e5 Lab and its partners will continue to develop and market the ROBOSHIP, fostering sustainable development in Japan’s ocean shipping and maritime industries and fueling the creation of new values.

Powertrain System on Standard Models of Electrically Powered Vessels ROBOSHIP Ver. 1.0

(Image Courtesy: e5 Lab Inc.)

Main Characteristics of Standard Models of ROBOSHIP

(Image Courtesy: e5 Lab Inc.)

Sea News Feature, August 25

Baibhav Mishra
Author: Baibhav Mishra