Srav, a solar offshore fishing vessel designed and developed by Kochi-based NavAlt Solar and Electric Boats, has bagged the iconic Gustave Trouve Award to become the world’s first sea going solar fishing vessel.

The award was instituted in memory of Gustave Trouve, the famous French inventor, electrical engineer, physicist and polymath. 

The Electric Boat Award - Commercial ferry category was dominated by nominations from some of the largest boat builders from across 30 nations.

A total of four vessels contested from India, of which, three belonged to Navalt. Srav was adjudged the ‘Best Electric Work Boat” in the world.

This is the second one for Navalt. Earlier, Navalt’s 75-seater solar-powered ferry Aditya that operates in the Vaikom-Thavanakadavu route had bagged the Gustave award in 2020.

Sandith Thandassery, founder and CEO, Navalt said that SRAV is pegged to be the iconic sea going vessel series from Navalt which will encompass all types of small and large fishing vessels, all powered by the Sun.

The tale of Electric Shark began with the NavAlt’s dream of cleaner and quieter oceans. ‘Beginning from Aditya, a technology and design wonder, we went into building ROROs, luxury vessels and military boats,’ he said. 

Shell Foundation’s support

While the company was focused on putting diverse green vessels across India, the Shell Foundation, one of the biggest clean tech advocates today, came with unflinching support.

The Shell Foundation found that solar fishing boats could create a huge impact within the fishing community of the country.

Surveys indicated that there are close to 250,000 fishing vessels operating on petrol and kerosene. Millions depend on the sea and its produce count on these boats for offshore fishing - in physical structure and as a unit economics. The rising fossil fuel price is a big concern for the community as they operate on low margins from the catch that they receive minus the tantalizing fuel costs.

“Srav is a fascinating beast to ride on. It can host up to six fishermen. It has a 50-km range and is ideal for small fishers. The energy bill would be less than ₹10,000, while fossil fuels would cost roughly ₹3 lakh. Wear and tear too will be much less,” Sandith Thandassery said.

The Shell Foundation is backing Navalt to introduce the sun-powered water beasts into the fishermen community, forever ridding them of the fuel cost burden and at the same time introducing them to the newest form of fishing.

Navalt will be deploying many SRAVs across the west coast enabling fishers greatly benefit from the “cut down” in operational expenses, he added.

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