Auckland introduces its first two all-electric fast ferries

Written by

Nick Blenkey

Auckland’s first two all-electric ferries are due for delivery in 2024.

Auckland, New Zealand aims to operate an all-electric ferry fleet by 2040, which is expected to save one million tonnes of CO2 per year.

Initially, Auckland Transport will operate its first two electric fast ferries on all major domestic and intermediate port services, paving the way for further electrification of ferries in the future.

The ferries are expected to be delivered in 2024. They will be owned and operated by Auckland Transport and are being built with the support of NZD 27 million (about $18 million) in grants from the New Zealand government. This should cover around 75% of their construction cost.

The Auckland ferry project is a collaboration between the New Zealand national government, Auckland Transport, New Zealand marine technology company EV Maritime and boat builder McMullen & Wing.

Interior view of the electric ferry
The electric ferry facilities will include spaces for bicycles.

The 24 meter vessels will be capable of carrying up to 200 passengers and traveling at speeds of up to 25 knots. Each ferry will save at least one thousand tons of CO2 per year and will be built in composite materials.

Designed and manufactured in New Zealand by EV Maritime, the ferries will be powered by a Danfoss Editron marine electronics and power management system including converters, propulsion motors, DC link, transformers and a power management system. energy. The vessels will each be propelled by four engine-driven HamiltonJet thrusters.

Danfoss’ Editron division will also provide an independent battery connection for each battery string, providing high efficiency and all-electric power to motors regardless of battery condition and voltage. In the event of a failure, the unique fault tolerance of the Editron DC system will ensure that all four thrusters can continue to operate at at least half power, or three thrusters can operate at full power.

The project will be the first to be delivered under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Danfoss and EV Maritime which will see the two companies partner to offer fully electric ferry solutions to cities around the world.

“Achieving a zero-emissions marine industry is a team effort, so we are excited about the new opportunities this MoU will provide,” said Philipp Fedorov, Marine Sales Manager for Danfoss Editron Division. Our future commercial deployment, which will begin in Auckland, will bring together the latest electric propulsion technology and shore-based charging infrastructure.

“Our solution is one of the most efficient, compact and reliable on the market, while our approach also means the batteries can be easily upgraded,” Federov said. “In addition, it allows different battery manufacturers to integrate into a system or add alternative energy sources such as fuel cells. This concept, co-developed with EV Maritime, will be easy to scale, replicate and implement in any location and environment.

“We chose to partner with the Editron division of Danfoss for their weight and size efficient power electronics, which is a significant enabler of the high speed capabilities that set these vessels apart,” said Michael Eaglen, co- founder and CEO of EV Maritime. . “This project aims to create an innovative and pioneering zero-emission urban transport alternative. We believe this is just the beginning of Auckland’s marine electrification journey and look forward to working on future projects with Danfoss around the world.

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