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Renault, French specialist maritime company Seine Alliance and electric propulsion experts Green-Vision have developed the first all-electric passenger boat powered by ‘second life’ batteries.

It’s called Black Swan and it’s due to go into service in 2020 on the River Seine in Paris.

The boat can carry up to eight passengers and pioneers the use of lithium-ion batteries that have already had their ‘first car life’ in Renault Z.E. vehicles.

Gilles Normand, Senior Vice President, Electric Vehicle at Groupe Renault, says: “We are proud of having contributed to the Black Swan project alongside Seine Alliance and Green-Vision. Once again, this approach has shown that, used in a second life as energy storage units, the batteries from our electric vehicles represent an essential lever for the acceleration of the energy transition.”

Didier Spade, Chairman of Seine Alliance, adds: “As host to COP 21 in 2015 and the Olympic Games in 2024, Paris has a duty to provide innovative solutions for the environment. Seine has already shown itself to be exemplary in respect of energy performances in the transport sector. Our company has once again brought an electric boat project to fruition with the aim of raising the awareness of all of the river’s users.”


Originally powered by a traditional internal combustion engine, Black Swan now features four ‘second life’ batteries housed in specially designed, water-tight stainless steel containers located beneath the boat’s bench seats. The batteries and motors together weigh 278kg, which is less than the combined total of the original fuel tank and engines. 

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