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Berlin’s oldest passenger vessel enters a new green era

Torqeedo’s Customized Solutions team have converted the 138-year-old passenger vessel Kaiser Friedrich to electric power, saving over 150 litres of diesel per operating hour.

The 100-ton steamer is powered by twin Deep Blue 50i motors and a 400 kWh Deep Blue battery bank.  The historic 150-passenger vessel re-entered regular service on 13 May 2024.

Kaiser Friedrich was built in 1886 and recently marked its return to service with a ceremonial christening in central Berlin.

In a bid to preserve its legacy, its owners refitted the historic 30m vessel with a modern, emission-free electric drive system by the world leader in electric mobility on the water, Torqeedo.

The twin-screw Kaiser Friedrich plied Berlin’s waters for almost 80 years before it was decommissioned in 1967 and converted into offices and residential space.

In 1986, the German Museum of Technology purchased the 100-ton boat and restored it to its original appearance.

Europe, Germany, Berlin, Taufe Kaiser Friedrich, Berliner-Welle.

For several years Kaiser Friedrich welcomed guests with historical city tours until its engines, which used over 150 litres of diesel per hour, made operation both ecologically and economically unviable. The museum reclaimed the boat in 2012 and started a search for a solution.

In 2022 Volker Marhold and Julius Dahmen, who both have experience converting historic boats to electric propulsion, purchased Kaiser Friedrich.

In close collaboration with Torqeedo’s Customized Solutions team, the conversion to an ultra-efficient electric drive system with twin Deep Blue 50 kW inboard motors and a 400 kWh Deep Blue battery bank was expertly completed by the Tangermünde Shipbuilding and Development Company in Genthin, Germany.

Starting on 13 May, Berliners and visitors to the “Athens on the Spree” can enjoy an eco-friendly city tour on board this legendary passenger vessel.

At night, the city’s most famous boat transforms into a floating beer garden during the 3.5-hour Old Berlin Beer Evening. Online booking is available at www.kaiserfriedrich.berlin.

Berlin’s oldest passenger vessel enters a new green era
Europe, Germany, Berlin, Taufe Kaiser Friedrich, Berliner-Welle.
Ships Montly - January 2024

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