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The UK’s first electric ferry runs on old Nissan Leaf batteries

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Earlier today, here on SHIFT, we looked at the results of a survey from UK consumer magazine Which?, which showed battery degradation in EVs is really nothing to worry about.

There is an issue, though. It seems that battery degradation is so insignificant in the grand scheme of things that the power packs will outlive the rest of the car. So what to do with all those surplus cells?

Use them to power boats, of course! It was maritime week in the UK recently after all.

[Read: What audience intelligence data tells us about the 2020 US presidential election]

A collaboration between boatyard Voyager Marine, Cornwall and South coast-based ferry tour operator Plymouth Boat Trips has seen a bunch of used Nissan Leaf batteries get repurposed to power what they say is the UK’s first all-electric sea going ferry. Last week, the boat undertook its maiden voyage.

By means of a reality check, it’s not really a ferry in the same way a transcontinental boat is a ferry. It’s closer to being an electrified fishing boat, but that doesn’t sound quite as sexy, so I”ll let them off.

The boat, called e-Voyager, was designed and developed by folks at the University of Plymouth, the University of Exeter, Teignbridge Propellers, and EV Parts. It didn’t come cheap: the whole project, funded by a Maritime Research and Innovation (MarRI-UK) initiative and the Department for Transport (DfT), cost around £1.4 million ($1.8 million USD).

EV parts, an engineering company that specializes in components for electric vehicle fabrication, designed the boat’s battery storage and motor arrangement to replace its original diesel motor. The Nissan Leaf batteries are linked up to provide 400 volts of power to the motors.

It’s eerily quiet, take a look in the video below.

Right now, the boat is being tested by regulatory bodies so that it can be used for public use and begin ferrying passengers to their destinations.

That’s all well and good but what about charging? Well, Plymouth City Council are helping out with that and are going to install three 22 kWh chargers where the boat will moor up. Plymouth Boat Trips says that it’ll take three hours overnight to fully charge the vessel. Operators expect it to be able to complete its journeys on a single full charge, and will top up during the day as it needs to.

Ok, ok. Electric boats are nowhere near as exciting as say the Pininfarina Battista or the Rimac C_Two, but researchers at Plymouth University believe the knowledge gained from this project will scale up and be useful to large commercial vessels. Eventually, this could help realize the UK governments goal of reducing emissions in the marine sector by 50% by 20250.

What’s more, it uses old EV batteries. There’s a lot of concern about what will happen to EV batteries when the cars they’re built into eventually die. Besides recycling them, they can also be repurposed and reused. If we’re really going to cut emissions in a meaningful way, this is the kind of sustainable and circular thinking we need to explore.


SHIFT is brought to you by Polestar. It’s time to accelerate the shift to sustainable mobility. That is why Polestar combines electric driving with cutting-edge design and thrilling performance. Find out how.

Published October 23, 2020 — 12:28 UTC

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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