German shipbuilder Fassmer Shipyard and integrated electric drive systems developer Torqeedo have developed a fully electric ferry concept for public transport. It is the latest example of the use of battery power, which is drawing increasing attention for short sea and harbor applications.

“Decades-old marine diesel engines power most commercial fleets in European cities,” says Wolfgang Moewes, Fassmer’s sales manager for boats and davits. “The CO2 emissions are not in line with the international goals to reduce global warming. Our cities’ air quality suffers from emissions, particularly due to ferries which dock frequently. Our CIT-E Ferry design with electric drive offers 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 operated in inner-city waterways. According to the companies, it presents a cost-effective option because commuter ferries typically operate at efficient speeds and are in use for 8 to 14 hours, leaving time for overnight charging. That reduces infrastructure and battery bank costs and makes the entire investment more economically and ecologically beneficial. 

The electric ferry design is modular to fit different routes and applications (Fassmer)

Fassmer’s CIT-E Ferry is fully ES-TRIN 2021 compliant with up to a 100-passenger capacity. The modular concept allows the customer to adapt the vessel’s overall length from approximately 40 to 130 feet, depending on the route. The lightweight GRP construction outperforms any steel or aluminum hull design says Fassmer and it is optimized for the use of Torqeedo’s integrated Deep Blue drive system. The efficient and low wash catamaran hull, designed by Judel/Vrolijk & Co., delivers speeds of up to 25 km/h. 

“When Fassmer and Torqeedo started to discuss the CIT-E Ferry concept, we wanted to address several topics facing urban centers,” says Matthias Schubert, Torqeedo’s director for commercial sales. “By 2050, the global population will reach 10 billion, with 75 percent of people residing in cities. Facing this rapid population shift and the resulting gridlock of land-based transportation, urban planners are looking to their waterways to ease congestion on city streets. Many cities are creating intermodal public transport networks integrating climate-friendly water taxis, ferries and other passenger vessels.”

Torqeedo’s highly efficient Deep Blue drive system is the heart of Fassmer’s CIT-E Ferry. Twin steerable thrusters would deliver continuous power of 100 kW (peak power of 130 kW) 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 bank 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 the CIT-E Ferry according to ES-TRIN (European Standard laying down Technical Requirements for Inland Navigation vessels) requirements. A DNV-GL type-approved battery variant is also available. 

Depending on the overall battery capacity, 14 hours of daily operation time without recharging can be reached. In addition, the customizable interior design allows the operator to take all individual customer and route needs into account with a flexible number of seats versus standing room, space for wheelchairs, bicycles, and baby carriages, an LED light system, air conditioning, skylights, and an entertainment system. For longer routes or tour boats, lavatories, kiosks and snack machines can be integrated into the design. 

Source: The Maritime Executive