University students develop electric-powered luzzu

A group of students from the University of Malta’s engineering faculty have developed an electric-powered luzzu with the aim of reducing air pollution.

After taking a tour on this innovative boat, MEP Miriam Dalli and Minister Evarist Bartolo are pushing for improved air quality and better health by tacking the issue of pollution generated by maritime transport.

Statistics issued by the National Statistics Office show that maritime transport in Malta contributes to 15% of greenhouse gas emissions generated by the whole transport sector.

Dr Dalli, who is currently working on a law to reduce CO2 emissions from land transport, highlighted the different measures to reduce pollution from maritime transport, including the shore-to-ship systems (when a ship is berthed at port) and smaller boats which operate on cleaner energy.

“Smaller boats are widely used in Malta: as a means for tourists to sight-see our historical places from sea, for citizens and tourists crossing from one city to another, as well as for fishing purposes. It is important to develop varied solutions that can address these different needs,” Dalli said.

Professor Joseph Cilia, Professor within the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Malta, explained more about the latest technology used in this project which made it possible for the traditional luzzu to work with electric energy, such as lithium batteries and DT Brushless Motors.