Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

Programme Category


Article available in the following languages:


Innovative energy storage systems on-board vessels (ZEWT Partnership)


Battery based electric energy storage systems are increasingly deployed within the waterborne sector, particularly for sea short shipping, complex high-end ships and inland navigation.

Nonetheless, specific operational requirements (e.g. autonomy, power peaks, etc.), in particular in adverse conditions outside sheltered waters or going upstream on rivers, remain a concern. Fully battery electric shipping is demanding, requiring very high energy levels to achieve a realistic operational range and the necessary speed and thrust performance, whilst hybrid applications can also be excessively large. Both hybrid and full battery operations are subject to many more charging cycles and longer lifetimes than other transport applications.

Batteries within most waterborne applications deployments are founded upon established battery technologies. However, other energy storage systems exist which maybe valuable for waterborne application in the future which have not been fully investigated. For example, super-/ultra-capacitors, superconductivity magnetic energy storage, flywheels, flow batteries, etc.

Projects will focus on low TRL solutions for waterborne transport, preliminary integration, safety studies and the potential combination with other disruptive technologies such as super conductors and the wider use of DC grids. It will address the integration on-board of innovative energy storage systems (excluding storage of fuels and conventional batteries), including control systems and optimised operational deployment, and the connection to the on-board electrical grid.

Projects will address the cost competitiveness of the innovative solutions when compared with batteries, specify the applicability in specific waterborne segments (in particular in IWT where electrification may be pioneered through a dedicated project), determine risk levels, identify safety measures and propose possible regulatory aspects. The pertinent skills development will be outlined.

Activities will address innovative energy storage for waterborne applications, it will not address the internal design of the energy storage technology itself. For example, the design of super capacitors would be excluded.

This topic implements the co-programmed European Partnership on ‘Zero Emission Waterborne Transport’ (ZEWT).