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Electric ferry sails into history books with 92km journey on single battery charge

Professional Engineering

The Ellen electric ferry (Credit for YouTube screenshot: Danfoss)
The Ellen electric ferry (Credit for YouTube screenshot: Danfoss)

An electric ferry has sailed into the history books after travelling more than 90km on a single battery charge.

Danish engineering firm Danfoss will apply for a Guinness World Record for the longest journey by an electric ferry following the trip, which took place on 9 June between the islands of Ærø and Als in Southern Denmark.

Timed to coincide with the International Energy Agency’s 7th Annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency, the Ellen travelled 92km on a single charge, more than double its usual 40km route between the two islands.

Henrik Hagbarth Mikkelsen, a senior lecturer from the Marstal Naval Academy who helped specify technical aspects of the ferry during its design phase, was onboard for the trip. “The 92km trip on a single battery charge is the longest planned distance for an electric ferry able to carry both passengers and vehicles to date anywhere on the globe. We are talking about a clear record,” he said.

The zero-carbon ship operates at a 24% lower cost than a new diesel ferry, according to Danfoss. The company supplied its electric Editron drivetrains and propulsion motors for the ferry.

Ellen is an excellent example of the future for electric transport,” said Danfoss Editron vice-president Kimmo Rauma. “It’s cleaner, greener, and more efficient than her fossil fuel competitors. Electrifying maritime transport is a clear-cut way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And Danfoss has the solutions to build new electric ferries, and to retrofit existing ones to electrify them with the potential to reduce carbon emissions all over the world.”

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Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.


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