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2014 Apr 30

Sweden launches world’s first supercharged TM electric passenger ferry

Swedish company Green City Ferries is to launch the world’s first supercharged TM electric passenger ferry.  Virtually silent and producing zero emissions, the 23-metre vessel carries 100 passengers and will run for an hour on ten minutes of supercharging.  The ferry, named Movitz, is now being retrofitted and will be operating fully electric in Stockholm’s inner-city waters by August 2014. It will operate a central route between Solna Strand and Gamla Stan, the heart of Stockholm’s Old Town.  Its launch is a momentous occasion for electric transport, for the marine industry and for Sweden; the ferry will be the first supercharged TM electric passenger ferry in the world.

The boat’s innovative propulsion system and charging station technology is being developed by Echandia Marine, a company founded with the mission to bring Swedish submarine technology to the surface.  Submarines have run on electricity for over 100 years.  Echandia’s CEO, Magnus Eriksson, himself a submarine designer and engineer and a strong proponent of electric transport, set out to use his expertise to revolutionize the passenger ferry industry as we know it today.  The propulsion system is designed for both new boats and retrofits.  The project is supported by the Swedish Energy Agency.

Instead of a 250kW diesel engine using 50 m3 of diesel per year, omitting 130 tons of CO2, 1,5 tons of NOX and 80 kg of particles, Movitz will have two 125 kW electric motors placed outside the hull in so called PODs. The boat will be powered by super-advanced Nickel-Metal-Hydrid (NiMH) 180 kWh batteries from the Swedish company Nilar.  NiMH batteries deliver high power instantly and can be charged very quickly.  Hans Thornell, CEO at Green City Ferries, estimates that the ferry will need 90 kW to cruise at 9 knots.

The ability to SuperchargeTM for ten minutes and then operate for an hour is an extremely important development for the passenger ferry industry, which operates a strict timetable.  Furthermore, it reduces the need for large battery packs. The ferry can charge while passengers embark and disembark.

Eriksson is happy to finally see the results of 8 years’ of hard work for Echandia.  He says “It is an exciting development that will save boat operators money as well as reducing air and noise pollution and make ferry travel cleaner and more pleasant for passengers and city dwellers alike. Running costs for ship operators are expected to be up to 30 % lower than for a conventional ferry and there is almost no need for maintenance.  Ships will also have increased maneuverability by using the POD technique, making it an ideal solution for inner city waterways and canals”.

Source: echandiamarine.com

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