FinFerries and Siemens have opened up about Elektra – Finland’s first battery-powered ferry.
The car ferry, which started operating in Q2 this year, uses battery packs charged directly from the grid and diesel electricity generators alongside them. The energy storage system is charged at each side of the crossing, using a shore-based connection to the local grid.
Because of the harsh winter conditions in Finland, the ferry can use diesel engines to support the onboard batteries, which serve as an extra boost travelling through ice, a statement explained.
Head of marine and shipbuilding at Siemens Norway, Odd Moen and chief executive of FinFerries, Mats Rosin presented the Siemens digitalisation concept for Elektra on a press day in October. “Elektra is part of a fleet now numbering four fully electrically propelled ferries run by the shipping company FinFerries which are equipped with our BlueDrive Plus C propulsion concept,” explained Mr Moen. “This encompasses a power storage system, a warning and observation system and variable-speed propulsion technology for the propellers.”
Mr Rosin said “Battery-powered ferries are vital to the achievement of sustainable, efficient and reliable shipping. We’re proud to have accomplished something of a pioneering achievement with the ferries of our electric fleet thanks to Siemens, and we’re excited about the possibilities afforded by these green technologies.”
The environmentally friendly ferry, which has capacity for 90 cars, operates on a 1.6 km route between Nauvo and Parainen in the Turku Archipelago.