Mar 8, 2019

World Ocean Summit 2019: EDF launches Smart Boat Initiative

Andrew Woods
4 min
EDF launches Smart Boat Initiative
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has announced the launch of its Smart Boat Initiative today at the World Ocean...

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has announced the launch of its Smart Boat Initiative today at the World Ocean Summit in Abu Dhabi.

Designed to accelerate the exploration and adoption of powerful new technologies to greatly improve sustainability, efficiency and profitability in the fishing sector across the globe, the new initiative focuses on leveraging the technological advances and plummeting costs in sensors, artificial intelligence, broadband communication and data analytics to equip and surround fishing vessels of all sizes with digital tools and infrastructure that can increase sustainability, accountability and transparency in fishing.

The Smart Boat Initiative builds on important work being done by a variety of other NGOs, academic institutions, businesses and governments all focused on deploying technology in the service of sustainability. EDF’s goal is to work with these stakeholders and fishermen to demonstrate the transformative power of technology with on-the-water pilot projects, scientific inquiries and policy advances across a variety of fishery types and scales.

As part of the Smart Boat Initiative, EDF Oceans released a new report on the significant opportunities of using advanced technologies to help fisheries and fishing businesses, two new guides on how to implement electronic monitoring technology, as well as the results from recent pilot projects on the U.S. West Coast and in Mexico’s Gulf of California.


With this initiative, EDF aims to address the critical problem of fishing vessels and fleets remaining isolated and disconnected when at sea. This means accurate and timely data about what is being caught and discarded rarely reaches scientists and managers. Even on vessels with human observers or new electronic monitoring systems, data can take weeks or even months to reach the end user. Meanwhile, fishermen at sea lack access to oceanographic, market and other real-time data that could inform their choices about where and how to fish.

These problems can be addressed through a combination of existing technologies that can be deployed on fishing vessels – and around them – at a variety of scales. For example, cameras on fishing vessels can be linked to pneumatic sensors and triggered only when fishing activity occurs. These data can then be highly compressed and transmitted wirelessly through broadband satellite or near-shore wireless data services. Artificial intelligence can also recognize species and help track catch. Scientists can access these data in near real time and make far better decisions about fishery health than ever before. And fishermen will have better access to supply chains and better information out at sea.

Katie McGinty, Senior Vice President, EDF Oceans program commented: “Just as smart phones provided a platform for a wave of innovation, we believe there is an equally unprecedented opportunity to usher in a new era of sustainability in the global fishing sector led by digital transformation.”

“This new initiative seeks to deploy technology to help solve one of the most urgent challenges of our time, overfishing,” said McGinty. “A critical element of the initiative is that it aims to provide fishermen with the tools to play a leading role in solving that problem.”

Even in countries with advanced management like the U.S., fishery monitoring is conducted with outdated systems, often a human observer using pen and paper. In countries with a higher proportion of small-scale fisheries, the data information gap is even more acute. As a part of the Smart Boat Initiative, EDF is bringing together learnings from pilot programs in both commercial and artisanal fisheries that put cameras and telecommunications technology on vessels in order to track and record information to inform policy, science and management.

 “In far too many fisheries, a lack of timely data frustrates even the best of intentions,” said Project Director Johanna Thomas. “But most fishermen want access to more powerful tools to take control of their futures and work together to deliver both business and conservation outcomes.”

 EDF is also releasing two new guides on electronic monitoring focused on a wide variety of fishing scenarios from near-shore small-scale fisheries to larger fleets. These guides will provide insights to help develop best-in-class standards. They are designed to provide information on how best to use and scale these technologies in ways that can inform good science, work financially for fishermen and governments and produce positive conservation outcomes for fisheries.

 “We believe this set of technologies represents widespread benefits, not only for future conservation, but also for fishermen today,” said McGinty.  “But without more work to refine these technologies, build them with fishermen’s needs in mind, increase deployment and share best practices, fisheries will remain stuck in the digital dark ages. That’s why we’ve launched the Smart Boat Initiative and why we’re optimistic about the future health of the ocean and all those who depend on it.”

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Jul 28, 2021

UK Nissan fleet owners receive commercial charging service

Dominic Ellis
3 min
V2G technology developed by DREEV can recharge an EV battery when electricity is at its cheapest, and discharge excess energy to sell back into the grid

UK fleet owners of Nissan Leaf and e-NV200 models can avail of a new commercial charging service using vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.

The service, designed to support the grid through low carbon energy consumption, is being provided by EDF, through Group subsidiary DREEV, in partnership with Nissan.

The V2G technology developed by DREEV, which is a joint venture between EDF and Nuvve, which specialises in V2G technology, allows for two-way energy flow; both recharging an EV’s battery when electricity is at its cheapest, and discharging excess energy to sell back into the grid. 

Fleet customers will save around £350 savings per charger each year, which equates to approximately 9,000 miles of driving charge per year.

EDF’s V2G business solution includes:

  • The supply and installation of a two-way connected compact 11kW charger capable of fully charging a Nissan LEAF, depending on the battery model, in 3 hours and 30 minutes - 50 per cent faster than a standard charger - with integrated DREEV technology.

  • A dedicated DREEV smart phone app, to define the vehicles’ driving energy requirements, track their state of charge in real time, and control charging at any time

Philip Valarino, Interim Head of EV Projects at EDF, said today’s announcement marks an important step on the UK’s journey towards electric mobility. "By combining the expertise and capabilities of EDF, Nissan and Dreev we have produced a solution that could transform the EV market as we look to help the UK in its journey to achieve Net Zero," he said. “Our hope is that forward-thinking businesses across the country will be persuaded to convert their traditional fleets to electric, providing them with both an environmental and economic advantage in an increasingly crowded market.”

Andrew Humberstone, Managing Director, NMGB, said Nissan has been a pioneer in 100% electric mobility since 2010, and the integration of electric vehicles into the company is at the heart of Nissan's vision for intelligent mobility.

He added the Nissan LEAF, with more than half a million units already sold worldwide - is the only model today to allow V2G two-way charging and offers economic opportunities for businesses "that no other electric vehicle does today". Click here for more information. 

US updates

FirstEnergy Corp, which aims to electrify 30% of its approximately 3,400 light duty and aerial fleet vehicles by 2030, has joined the Electric Highway Coalition. The group of electric companies, which has grown to 14 members, is committed to enabling long-distance EV travel through a network of EV fast-charging stations connecting major highway systems.  

The Edison Electric Institute estimates 18 million EVs will be on US roads by 2030. While many drivers recognize the benefits of driving an EV, some are concerned with the availability of charging stations during long road trips. Through their unified efforts, the members of the EHC are addressing this "range anxiety" and demonstrating to customers that EVs are a smart choice for traveling long distances as well as driving around town.

Volta Industries has installed new charging stations at Safeway in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and Renton, Washington.

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