Ebusco, active in the development of electric buses and charging systems, has taken over forty per cent of the share capital of Zero Emission Services BV (ZES). ZES provides all-in concepts for emission-free inland shipping.

Ebusco took over the shareholding from ENGIE, one of the founding shareholders of ZES. ZES and Ebusco share their commitment to zero-emission transportation. As their solutions are highly complementary, the parties hope to significantly increase their joint impact in the maritime sector.

Also read: First zero-emission inland vessel using battery containers sets sail

Start-up in emission-free inland shipping

ZES was founded in June 2020 and offers a complete range of products and services, based on interchangeable battery containers charged with renewable power, charging stations, technical support and an innovative pay per use concept for ship owners. In September 2021, the first emission-free inland shipping vessel, with energy containers from ZES, commenced operation.

ZES was founded by ING bank, energy and technical service provider ENGIE, maritime technology company Wärtsilä and the Port of Rotterdam Authority. All shareholders provide equity, expertise and staff to support ZES in its development.

Mutual benefits

Ebusco’s shareholding in ZES marks the beginning of a collaboration in which ZES can benefit from Ebusco’s experience with heavy-duty batteries and battery management systems. As part of its Energy Storage System (ESS) products, Ebusco has been developing Mobile Energy Containers (MECs) in the last years. These solutions can be perfectly integrated into the ZES concept. ZES’ experience in the inland shipping market and Ebusco’s experience in the electrification of the bus market can increase their joint impact in the maritime sector.

Furthermore, Ebusco has extensive experience in monitoring its entire bus fleet and its charging infrastructure through its dedicated software platform Ebusco Live. This real-time fleet management system and the knowledge and experience gained can be used to further develop the ZES offering and the efficiency of its solutions.

Electric inland shipping

Today’s inland vessel industry shows many similarities with the bus industry ten years ago, according to Ebusco. At that time, Ebusco pioneered the development of electric buses and associated EV infrastructure. However, the overall landscape and acceptance of electric transport nowadays are now much more advanced, so the transition within inland shipping is likely to happen faster.

‘We are excited about this transaction, an important step for Ebusco in this very promising sector. We are convinced that Ebusco’s participation in ZES can bring accelerated growth in the adoption of electric inland shipping,’ comments Peter Bijvelds, CEO of Ebusco. ‘Together we can lead the way in this virtually untapped market. We are looking forward to working with the other shareholders and the ZES team to make clean, emission-free inland shipping the new standard.’

Also read: Wärtsilä to develop autonomous, zero-emission barge for Port of Rotterdam