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Crowley’s eWolf Tugboat Gets Tough On Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Crowley Maritime Corporations is sailing into 2023 with the innovative eWolf, the world’s first all-electric powered harbor tugboat. It is set to be operational in San Diego harbor by the middle of this year and can complete a tug without using any traditional fossil fuel. The vessel backs Crowley’s promise to significantly reduce carbon emissions as one of its highest sustainability priorities.

Video Courtesy Crowley

“The eWolf represents everything Crowley stands for: innovation, sustainability, and performance,” said Tom Crowley, Crowley CEO. “With this groundbreaking tug design, our team continues to embrace our role as leaders in the maritime industry while providing our customers with innovative and sustainable solutions done right.”

The eWolf is an 82-foot-long vessel that will make a substantial clean-air difference in its first decade. In its first 10 years on the water, the e-tug is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3,100 metric tons of carbon dioxide, 1,178 tons of nitrogen oxide, and nearly three tons of diesel particulate matter. The difference between it and a traditional fossil-fuel-supplied tugboat is startling — a conventional tug uses more than 30,000 gallons of diesel annually.

Video Courtesy Crowley

“Crowley’s first-of-its-kind electric tugboat is a game changer,” said Michael Zucchet, chairman of the Port of San Diego board of port commissioners. “It checks all the boxes by providing environmental, economic, and operational benefits for our communities and maritime industry.”

The eWolf is equal to a traditional tugboat in all ways, and it can operate with the same strength and power while emitting zero carbon. It will run via artificial intelligence, designed to increase efficiency and safety.

The boat will also feature a fully-integrated electrical package with 360-degree visibility and overall high-level reliability.

The vessel must dock shore-side and hook up to a specially-designed station to charge, built in conjunction with Cochran Marine. The eWolf is currently under construction by Master Boat Builders in Alabama.

Photo Courtesy Crowley Maritime Corporations  

“This vessel will set a standard in the U.S. maritime industry for sustainability and performance,” said Garrett Rice, Master Boat Builders president. “Its zero-emissions capability and autonomous technology will benefit the environment and the safety of mariners and vessels.”

The eWolf’s new technology is the result of a partnership between Crowley, the Port of San Diego, the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District, the California Air Resources Board, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Maritime Administration. It’s a great example of various partners working with local, state, and federal resources to better the nation’s environmental future. 

As the U.S. moves toward its net-zero goal, innovations like this new e-tug help lessen the carbon footprint of massive industries such as shipping.


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