First Ever Electric Ferry to Set Sail in 2015

January 14, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

The Sognefjord Fjord in Norway will be the first to witness the arrival of the world’s first electric ferry in 2015. With the volumetric capability of carrying about 360 passengers and 120 cars, the ferry will be run on batteries that take just around 10 minutes to recharge between each conveyance.

Siemens and Norwegian shipyard Fjellstrand worked together in the design and R&D so that this ferry can deliver its utmost performance.

This project idea was first seen at a competition organized by Norway’s Ministry of Transport and indeed it was the idea that won the competition. The project was then selected for research by shipping company Norlend, who have been granted the license to operate the electric-powered car ferry on the route until 2025.

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With the intention of minimizing resistance in the water, extra care has been given to the vessel’s overall design. The designers have also made the hulls lose so much of unnecessary weight than usual, using aluminum instead of conventionally-used steel.

This has made the ferry lighter, and in turn, swifter than other vessels. The 10-metric-ton battery powers the two electric motors that churn out the power to drive this thing all the way.

Current ferries that go through the same route is now equipped with a 1.500-kilowatt engine which equates to about 2000 horsepower. The new electric-powered car ferry will have an output of 800kW.

This, with a battery power of 400kW and a speed of 10 knots, will be enough for the vessel to operate efficiently in normal weather conditions. Batteries are connected to the local power grid as efficiently as possible to keep it recharged at maximum possible points.

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