Guide to electric narrowboats

17th May 2022

With the UK’s push to become carbon neutral by 2050, many motoring sectors are looking within themselves to assess how they can become environmentally friendly. The canals sector is no different – in this guide, we will be looking into how electric narrowboats operate and how cruising can become more eco-friendly.

What is an electric narrowboat?

An electric narrowboat is not powered by a conventional fuel engine - instead, these canal boats rely on electric motors to create power. Electric boats are mainly utilised for lighter crafts such as sailboats, canoes, rowboats and small dinghies.

There are two types of electric narrowboats:


Benefits of electric canal boats

Most electric narrowboats are able to cruise approximately 18 miles between charges – meaning you won’t need to charge your canal boat every day.

Will fuel engine narrowboats be banned?

With the new environmental initiative, it is expected that petrol and diesel cars will be no longer be produced as of 2040. So, what does this mean for boating?

We could also potentially see the phasing out of polluting diesel engines in the future – however, it isn’t so simple. The weight and distribution of many canal boat engines mean that electric motors cannot be easily fitted into the boats. In comparison to many other modes of transport, canal boats are one of the most environmentally friendly options.

Here at ABC Boat Hire, we are always conscious of the environment and sustainability, so we're currently having an electric day boat built, which will be launched later this year. This will be operating from Springwood Haven Marina.

Looking for an electric energy solution for your canal boat? Check out our wide range of energy solutions available from Onboard Energy including solar pannels, batteries and more. 

You can find out more information about canal holidays by contacting our helpful team today.

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