The over 90-year-old MNE Ceresio is a little sensation. She was already chugging across Lake Lugano during the Second World War. Later, she was given a diesel engine and now the vessel built in 1931 is writing history: she is the first electric fast-charging boat in Switzerland. In the hold: a 180 kilowatt electric motor with double winding and lithium batteries weighing 6,500 kilograms. Everything from the development to the retrofitting has been completed entirely in the canton of Ticino.
And it won't stop there. The Lake Lugano Navigation Company aims to make its entire fleet on the lakes of Ticino 100 percent sustainable by 2035.
"The project will have a positive impact on the water quality of Ticino's lakes. At the same time, in the fight against climate change it is a strong symbol of sustainable boat travel, both in the tourism and the public transportation sectors; use of the lake will also help to reduce road traffic. Our example should set a precedent for the other Swiss lakes," says Carlo Acquistapace, sales manager at the Lake Lugano Navigation Company.
Zurich Switzerland is supporting these plans. "This project is perfectly aligned with our goals. We as a company want to take our social responsibility seriously and make a contribution toward sustainability," says Marianne Hänggi, Head of Sustainability at Zurich Switzerland.
The commitment from Zurich entails financial support for the Lake Lugano Navigation Company. In return, Zurich is using the opportunity to draw attention to its own sustainability efforts on the boats.
For Samuele Donnini, Head of Region South at Zurich Switzerland, there is another point to take into consideration here: "With this project, Ticino can position itself not only as a tourism region, but also as a place of research and development. It's all the more gratifying that this is happening in the area of sustainability," he says.
The Lake Lugano Navigation Company has existed since 1848. It makes an important contribution to economic development in the region, to improving living standards and job security, as well as increasing the self-esteem of its employees. It operates a fleet of 13 boats on Lake Lugano and five boats in the Swiss lake basin in Lake Maggiore, transporting over 750,000 passengers a year.
Lake Lugano is an internationally renowned lake some 50 square meters in size. Around 63 percent of the waters are on the Swiss side, the rest belong to Italy.
This is a strong symbol of sustainable boat travel.
Carlo Maria Acquistapace, head of sales at the Lake Lugano Navigation Company