German shipyard Fassmer Shipyard and integrated electric drive system developer Torqeedo have developed a fully electric ferry concept for public transport. This is the latest example of using battery power, which is gaining more and more attention for short sea shipping and port applications.
“Decades old marine diesel engines power most of the commercial fleets in European cities,” says Wolfgang Moewes, Sales Manager for Boats and Davits at Fassmer. “CO2 emissions are not in line with international targets for reducing global warming. The air quality of our cities suffers from emissions, especially from the ferries that dock frequently. Our electrically powered CIT-E Ferry design delivers the urban mobility of the future without any air or noise pollution.
The Fassmer CIT-E ferry powered by a Torqeedo integrated drive system is a scalable design that can be used in downtown waterways. According to the companies, it presents a cost effective option as the commuter ferries generally operate at efficient speeds and are used for 8 to 14 hours, leaving time for recharging overnight. This reduces infrastructure and battery costs and makes the overall investment more economically and environmentally beneficial.
The design of the electric ferry is modular to suit different routes and applications (Fassmer)
Fassmer’s CIT-E ferry is fully ES-TRIN 2021 compliant and can accommodate up to 100 passengers. The modular concept allows the customer to tailor the total length of the vessel from around 40 to 130 feet, depending on the route. The lightweight GRP construction outperforms any steel or aluminum hull design, says Fassmer, and is optimized for use of Torqeedo’s integrated Deep Blue drive system. The efficient, low-wash catamaran hull, designed by Judel / Vrolijk & Co., offers speeds of up to 25 km / h.
“When Fassmer and Torqeedo started discussing the CIT-E Ferry concept, we wanted to address several topics that urban centers are facing,” says Matthias Schubert, Commercial Sales Manager for Torqeedo. “By 2050, the world’s population will reach 10 billion, 75% of people residing in cities. Faced with this rapid population change and the resulting land transport congestion, city planners are turning to their waterways to reduce congestion on city streets. Many cities are creating intermodal public transport networks incorporating climate-friendly water taxis, ferries and other passenger ships.
Torqeedo’s highly efficient Deep Blue drive system is the heart of the Fassmer CIT-E ferry. The dual steerable thrusters would provide 100 kW continuous power (130 kW peak power) and rotate up to 360 degrees, making the CIT-E Ferry easy to maneuver even in the narrowest urban waterways.
Deep Blue lithium-ion batteries with a battery capacity of between 80 kWh and 1 MWh would power the integrated drive system. These high capacity batteries meet IEC 62619 and IEC 62620 requirements, making them suitable for use in CIT-E ferry in accordance with ES-TRIN requirements (European standard setting technical requirements for inland navigation vessels). A DNV-GL approved battery variant is also available.
Depending on the overall battery capacity, 14 hours of daily operation without recharging can be achieved. In addition, the customizable interior design allows the operator to take into account all the individual needs of customers and routes with a flexible number of seats compared to standing places, space for wheelchairs, bicycles and strollers, an LED lighting system, air conditioning, skylights, and an entertainment system. For longer trips or excursion boats, toilets, kiosks and snack vending machines can be incorporated into the design.