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Venice just got its first electric waterbus

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Venice just got its first electric waterbus
A waterbus passes in front of St Mark's Square. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP
10:37 CET+01:00
A new edition to Venice's fleet of vaporetti (public waterbuses) aims to tackle pollution in the canal-lined city by running entirely on electricity.

The eco-friendly boat, named 'Scossa' meaning 'shock' or 'tremor', made its maiden voyage on Wednesday after seven months of testing.

She will carry up to 40 passengers - silently and with minimal pollution - from the historic centre of Venice to the airport.

On the way, the route passes by some of the city's most famous sights, including the Rialto Bridge and the Ponte delle Guglie.

The boat cost €700,000 to build, and was created by boat construction company Cantieri Vizianello together with Siemens Italia.

It will run on an electric engine along the Grand Canal, before switching to diesel in order to recharge its batteries en route. 

"This is an example of a city which believes in technology and in modernity," said Venice's mayor Luigi Brugnaro, who also praised the "enthusiasm and effort" of the companies behind Scossa. 

The eco-friendly vaporetto will give off far lower levels of atmospheric emissions than its counterparts as well as saving on fuel usage.

See Scossa in action below.

Italy is currently suffering from high levels of smog due to fine particles pollution.

In Venice, where European safety levels for air pollution have been exceeded for 52 days this year, boats are responsible for 45 percent of this kind of pollution.

Local transport company Alilugana is already planning to introduce a second electric boat to its fleet, but said that it would take time for it to become a staple. Waterbuses are one of the most popular modes of transport in the northern city, and ferried some 70 million passengers around last year.

READ ALSO: Locals first. Venice makes tourists wait in line for waterbuses

Locals first: Venice makes tourists wait for water buses
Photo: Lauchlin Wilkinson/Flickr

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