Reused Tesla batteries take a historic sightseeing boat into the future

If you’ve ever been on ‘The Vasa Tour‘, that means you’ll have been on the M/S Sylvia sightseeing boat. And now this historic passenger boat is emerging as a frontrunner in the transition towards a sustainable future. Eco Sightseeing Stockholm AB and El & Marinteknik AB have the world’s first ‘Tesla second life’ all-electric passenger boat.

During 2019-2020, Eco Sightseeing Sthlm AB and El & Marinteknik worked on making the M/S Sylvia boat all-electric. They did this by using ‘second life’ Tesla batteries. The goal is to be able to offer environmentally-conscious sightseeing and charter experiences for everyone.

Sustainability is at the heart of what we do here at Royal Djurgården. And we would like to thank Elias for leading the way. Here is some more information about the project:

Eco Sightseeing Sthlm AB

Eco Sightseeing Sthlm AB is a young company, with high ambitions for sustainable experiences out on the water. Elias Nilsson founded the company in 2019 with the aim of driving the development of a fossil-free Sweden. He was inspired by climate activist Greta Thunberg and her thesis, ‘No one is too small to make a difference’.

“I wanted to accelerate the development of sustainable vessels in urban waters. In Stockholm there’s been talk of converting commercial vessels for many years and yet nothing has happened; so now is the time for action. What’s known today as a circular economy should be a matter of course; we should be making the most of the resources we have, by recycling or renovating them, rather than it being a case of ‘out with the old, in with the new”, says Elias.

In July 2020, the Swedish government decided to develop a strategy for Sweden to switch to a circular economy.
Elias continues, ‘I think we’re going to see a lot of new environmental innovations in the near future. The challenges that the whole world is facing at the moment due to the pandemic is a reminder that the way we live and the choices we make have consequences. I hope that more shipowners will follow in our footsteps and take bigger steps in sustainability’.

The Ecosightseeing and El & Marinteknik partnership

The Ecosightseeing and El & Marinteknik partnership
Environmental technology, sustainability and circular economies were the cornerstones for Ecosightseeing and El & Marinteknik’s innovative partnership. Together, the two companies have carried out a unique conversion of the M/S Sylvia boat. Atraditional Perkins diesel engine powered the boat originally. Now, El & Marinteknik have installed recycled Tesla batteries instead.

Installing the Tesla batteries

Ecosightseeing recycle the unused Tesla batteries from the Tesla Model S. However, they still have the capacity for so-called ‘second life’ use; the 190kW h cells can power an 85kW electric motor. The cells are housed in specially-designed waterproof and gas-tight aluminium containers. These are then stored in the boat’s underseat. The battery capacity allows for up to 14 hours of cruising before they need to be charged again. The electric propulsions create less noise. This makes for a more comfortable experience for the passengers and takes them closer to nature.
The M/S Sylvia is now continuing her journey into the future. She will be the world’s first all-electric passenger boat powered by ‘second life’ Tesla batteries.

Ecosightseeing M/S Sylvia

The M/S Sylvia was originally built for the The Royal Navy back in 1943. It was involved in the Normandy landings in 1944. Today, the boat can hold up to 48 passengers, and its home port is at Strandvägen 19 in Stockholm.
The boat’s licensed bar, excellent audiovisual systems and passionate and crew makes it one of Stockholm’s most treasured charter boats.

The conversion of the M/S Sylvia to an all-electric boat contributes to reducing Stockholm’s noise emissions (11.2,6)

The conversion of the M/S Sylvia to an all-electric boat helps to reduce CO2 emissions (13.2)