The river Seine which meanders through the city of Paris also acts as a means of transportation and entertainment in the city. Several river cruises are conducted down the river for both private and business excursions.

The Seine Alliance is a partnership between Groupe Renault and Green Vision. It is a company which aims to introduce emission free transportation in the Seine river. The aim is to refurbish the batteries used in EVs and give them a second life. Thereafter, use these second life batteries to operate slower moving water borne transport in the Seine river. The company has retrofitted a boat “The Black Swan”, built by Italian builder Tullio Abate.

“The Black Swan” is powered by two electric motors in propulsion pods installed beneath the hull of the boat. These pods also do away with the need for a steering gear and rudder as the maneouvering can be achieved by swiveling the pods. Energy for the electric motors is stored in Li-ion batteries which have been completed service in commercial cargo EVs manufactured by Renault. The batteries are placed in four stainless steel enclosures in the boat, designed to keep them water proof. The battery pack weighs around 278 kgs which is less than the fuel tanks that have been replaced. The electric motors propelling the boat are 10 KW each.

“The Black Swan” can seat between 2 and 8 people. The battery has enough juice to propel the boat for 2 hours at a stretch at speeds within the speed limits imposed on the river Seine. Once discharged, the Li-ion batteries can be recharged to full capacity within 2 to 3 hours. The first commercial service of the Seine Alliance would be launched in 2020 with an aim to provide a 100% electric fleet by 2024 in time for the Olympic games scheduled in Paris.