It is the goal of Current Direct to accelerate the transmission of most short- to mid-range freight and ferry services toward zero emission by removing the barrier of capital expense, the limitations associated with shore power, and the challenge of space associated with current levels of energy density. The Energy as a Service (EaaS) model makes it possible for vessel owners to adopt more- or all-electric propulsion effortlessly, not only in terms of capital cost but also in time. Even if batteries were cheap, vessel owners would have to cycle out older vessels so that newbuilds could be constructed which would accommodate vast amounts of space for energy storage under today’s paradigm. Current Direct shatters that barrier, making it possible for a vessel owner to reimagine their entire fleet in as little as a few years.
Current Direct’s go to market strategy will be divided into two major phases. During phase one, project activities will be conducted to validate and demonstrate the application of the waterborne transport battery system and the EaaS platform in an operational environment at Technology Readiness Level 7. In phase two, developed standardization and certification plans will perform system validation, verification, and qualification allowing for accelerated time to market. In parallel a strong emphasis will be taken to establish active links with all the stakeholders to gain knowledge for a successful market introduction. The EaaS business case will be fully validated through interaction with end users in the demonstration phase and complemented by comprehensive assessments detailing the economic advantages of the Current Direct ecosystem, the business model, and a strategy for the industrialization of the technologies.
After project completion, a go-to-market strategy will be paved during phase two by launching and demonstrating the final qualified system in an operational environment at TRL9. In parallel, the industrial partners of the Current Direct consortium will take care of system engineering and setup of the production operations ensuring that the solution (both hardware and software) complies with all applicable safety requirements, with compliance confirmed by the CE marking for each relevant EU Directive. The commercialization strategy will be implemented in Europe and worldwide, leveraging the consortium partner’s sales and distribution channels. The commercialization roadmap developed during the project will guide the steps to be taken to reach a Commercial Readiness Index of 6 by the end of 2026. To facilitate a swift market entry and as being part of the go-to-market strategy early-stage customers (e.g., inland waterway operators, short- to mid-range coastal vessels, tugs, and barges) will be targeted and actively engaged during all commercialization activities.
The implementation of Current Direct will create new jobs and knowledge base, enhancing Europe’s innovation capacity and competitiveness in the rapidly growing energy storage industry. Current Direct will support this growth by creating multiple centers of development and production within the Continent, and by partnering heavily with European academic institutions and industry organizations who can help spur branching innovation.