Published in Les Echos : Sodexo and Vinci Energies Are Launching A Batobus Hybrid

Sodexo Sports et Loisirs and Vinci Energies will equip the very first Batobus fleet, a river shuttle on the Seine with hybrid electric technology. This collaboration is intended to be extended to Bateaux Parisiens and Yachts de Paris.

19 Dec 2019

Sodexo Sports et Loisirs has decided to accelerate the energy transition of its Batobus fleet. The branch of the global giant of business services has established a partnership with Vinci Energies and its subsidiary Barillec Marine. It is developing new concepts for electric and hybrid propulsion in maritime and river transport. The challenge is to meet the constraints of the shuttle bus service provided by the Batobus continuously and over a wide hourly range, with 9 possible stops serving the main monuments of Paris and 1.8 million passengers on board per year.

Quieter Navigation

Between 2020 and 2024, six of the eight Batobuses will be equipped with this hybrid electric technology for an investment of 4.2 million euros over 4 years, which is equivalent to 25% of the new price of the fleet. This involves replacing one of the two thermal generators currently fitted to boats with a pack of electric batteries.

“This transformation will allow the Batobus to reduce their environmental impact and ensure a quieter navigation. Hybrid boats will also have the possibility to switch to 100% electric energy in certain parts of the route in the historic heart of Paris”, explains Franck Chanevas, the General Manager of Sodexo Sports et Loisirs in France and Spain.


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Technological Challenge

Even though hybrid technology is already developed in the automobile industry, it still remains a technical feat in river transport. “None of the existing solutions made it possible to meet the very demanding specifications dictated by the 15 hours of operation per day with a power of 300 kW without recharging and part of the route carried out exclusively in battery mode. We have developed a tailor-made solution which can then be deployed on other types of boats”, said Vinci Energies Deputy General Manager in France, Vincent Bouffard.

“Navigation on the Seine is intense with 7 million passengers out of the 11 million recorded in France. It has no equivalent in the world. The sector is very fragmented with 200 companies, but Sodexo is the leader with 60% of the market and must be innovative, guaranteeing a reliable and safe service”, summarizes the Deputy General Manager of Batobus and Bateaux Parisiens, Arnaud Daniel.

This project is part of a partnership initiated more than 15 years ago between Sodexo Sports et Loisirs and Vinci Energies, integrating solutions. Since 2003, each new or used boats or flow with electric propulsion that are run on thermal generators. Sodexo also made the electrification of platforms through dedicated terminals to power its ships. Eventually the group of Pierre Bellon intends to expand its hybrid technology to other fleets, Bateaux Parisiens and Yachts de Paris, which carry 2.2 million passengers per year.

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