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Siemens’ electric ferries are taking to the seas

The vessels will be operated by Fjord1 and will cross Norway's E39 Anda-Lote.

Germany’s Siemens is going to supply propulsion systems for two new Norwegian battery-powered ferries. This means that the all four of the world’s first electric ferries will be run on Siemens’ technology. Here’s a quick guide to the vessels — and the technology they carry onboard.

Sustainable alternative
Most ferries worldwide are currently operated by diesel engines, but five years ago Norway’s Ministry of Transport and Communications announced a competition to develop a cleaner way to power the boats. Siemens ultimately won the competition and set about designing an all-electric alternative to fossil-fuelled ferries.

Maiden voyage
Last year, Siemens launched the world’s first electric ferry in conjunction with Fjellstrand, a Norwegian shipyard. The vessel, called Ampere, was designed to transport cars and passengers between the villages of Lavik and Oppedal in the Sognefjord. The ferry is powered by three battery packs — one on board and two at each pier.

Continued success
Now, the firm’s two electric ferries have been selected to sail the E39 Anda-Lote route on Norway’s west coast. The vessels will have a cargo capacity of 120 cars, 12 trailers and 349 passengers.

Siemens will install an integrated electric power and automation solution aboard both of the ferries. The company’s electric propulsion solution, BlueDrive PlusC, includes lithium-ion batteries for energy storage and thruster and remote control for the propellers. The ferries will also benefit from an integrated alarm and monitoring system and an energy management system. The ships’ energy storage systems will be charged at each side of the 2.4km crossing and are monitored using WiFi communication.

Operation of the two ferries will commence in January of 2018.

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Image: copyright Multi Maritime, ship design by

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