Digital image of the new electric workboat from CWL
Digital render of the new Coastal Workboats E-LUV prototype. Image copyright: Damen Shipyards.

A pioneering boatbuilding firm is relocating to East Devon to manufacture components for the UK’s first fully electric workboat and charging station, in a move which will secure 30 local jobs.

Coastal Workboats Limited (CWL) will be building their new HQ and advanced manufacturing site at Honiton’s Heathpark Industrial Estate. The move, which supports East Devon District Council’s ambitions to address the climate emergency by promoting clean growth, was guided by EDDC's Economic Development team.

Councillor Paul Hayward, EDDC’s Portfolio Holder for Economy and Assets, says:

"We’re delighted to welcome Coastal Workboats Limited, a company which has led the way in developing new clean and sustainable ways of powering vessels. This is exactly the sort of investment which the district needs to help us grow our green economy and help us reach net zero."

CWL’s new HQ is scheduled for completion in 2024, and will be state of the art in respect of energy use and generation. The building will use solar and ground source heating and will have facilities to charge electric vehicles.

The investment has been backed by £6 million from the government’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition fund. The scheme is designed to help maritime industries eliminate carbon emissions and increase efficiency.  Electric boats already exist, but so far they have only been used for leisure. CWL’s project will be the first to demonstrate their commercial potential.

CWL’s successful funding application will support a £9million project which will deliver the UK’s first demonstration of a fully-electric workboat and charging station. The purpose-built Electric Landing Utility Vessel (E-LUV) will be demonstrated for four weeks in the Shetland Isles in a workboat capacity, running inter-island routes. Most workboats are operated in areas with low or low grid power to support the recharging of vessels.