Every now and then we get to cover a story that is just simply awesome. For me, as a kid, whenever I wasn’t watching Thomas the Tank Engine, I would desperately be trying to watch TUGS. I like the idea of tug boats. They’re small but powerful.
And now, a new study by the University of California, Riverside, has shown that the world’s only hybrid electric tugboat does indeed reduce emissions.
Tested at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the researchers at the UC Riverside College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) demonstrated that the hybrid electric tugboat reduced emissions of soot by about 73%, oxides of nitrogen by 51%, and carbon dioxide by 27%.
Not surprisingly these findings could be a real boon for cleaning up the shipping industry. While tugboats aren’t the giant diesel-powered ships that they push around, this innovation could lead to a) a change through hybridizing all tug boats and b) a stepping stone for hybridizing larger vessels.
The study can be viewed online at the California Environmental Protection Agency’s website(PDF), and is worth a look if you have even the slightest interest about cleaning up our environment. Or tugboats.