By Ma. Cristina Arayata

FILIPINO-MADE. A locally-made electric boat co-funded by the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Energy was officially introduced via a demo run at the Manila Yacht Club on Thursday (Feb. 29, 2024). The environmentally-friendly boat could accommodate up to 10 passengers. (Photo grabbed from PCIEERD’s Facebook page)

MANILA – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) officially introduced on Thursday the Filipino-made Safe, Efficient and Sustainable Solar-Assisted Plug-In Electric Boat (SESSY E-Boat) via a demo run at the Manila Yacht Club.

Developed by researchers from Mapua University, the PHP19-million project was co-funded by the DOST and the Department of Energy.

DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) Director Enrico Paringit said the boat is highly efficient considering its size and form.

“It has a quiet motor and less (impact) to (the) environment if energy is sourced from solar,” Paringit told the Philippine News Agency.

The boat can accommodate 10 passengers and two crew, but Paringit said the seats could also be reconfigured for certain purposes such as diving or snorkeling.

“There are not many e-boats in the country, and the SESSY e-boat was designed for local maritime needs like for tourists,” he said, adding that the Maritime Industry Authority also reviewed the SESSY e-boat for safety standards.

DOST-PCIEERD is currently looking for possible technology adopters of the SESSY e-boat.

While the prototype has been completed, the PCIEERD said small details like the aesthetics would be addressed. Mapua researchers are ready for SESSY’s replication and are working towards its commercialization.

The PCIEERD said the researchers selected the parts of the batteries and electric motors, and have also installed their own developed automatic identification system or AIS.

The SESSY could run for two hours after slow charging it for four hours. However, using the solar panels, the e-boat could run for an additional two hours and more as long as the solar energy supply continues, PCIEERD said. (PNA)