Aukland’s electric ferries are getting an ABB boost

  • Auckland Transport teams up with ABB for a leading electric ferries project, targeting the largest fleet in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • ABB’s three-megawatt charging system aligns with AT’s emission-cutting Mission Electric initiative.
  • The partnership introduces a pioneering MW charging system, setting a new standard for reducing CO2 emissions.

Aukland Transport are looking to the future with electric ferries, to be charged by ABB

Auckland Transport (AT) has chosen ABB for a groundbreaking project to power its electric ferries. AT will introduce two fully electric and two electric-hybrid ferries to build the Southern Hemisphere’s largest electric ferry fleet.

The ferries will boast a swift charging system, with each charger capable of supplying over three megawatts of power. The quick top-up lasts just 5 to 10 minutes during passenger boardings. That allows for minimal marine battery size, maximising the space and charging efficiency of the ferry.

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AT’s Low Emission Ferry Programme Director Nathan Cammock, commented:

“The ferry chargers we need in Auckland are very similar to what ABB has recently delivered in Portugal to support 10 electric ferries. AT’s train network has been electrified already and all new buses will be electric. Now we are doing the same for the ferry network.

Auckland’s ferries use around 13 million litres of diesel each year and make up 20% of public transport emissions. Our first new ferries will be powered by locally generated electricity, helping reduce fuel consumption by approximately 1.5 million litres each year, and avoiding about 4000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.”

Simultaneously, AT plans to overhaul and refit four existing diesel ferries with more fuel-efficient engines, providing an immediate reliability and emissions benefit.

This initiative is not just about the hardware. ABB’s MW charging system, a world-first for maritime electric and hybrid ferries, will set a new standard. It utilizes the CharIN MW charging system standard, with five complete charging solutions scheduled for installation between 2024 and 2025 at several ferry terminals.

ABB Marine and Ports Ferry Segment Manager, Palemia Field, says:

“Ferries connect communities and have a significant impact on the environment. Electrification is crucial and we must move away from emissions-generating technologies. 

Noise- and emission-free operations benefit both the broader and local communities, while passengers onboard enjoy improved travel comfort thanks to less vibration.”

Auckland is pushing the boundaries in sustainable marine transportation. The collaboration between AT and ABB marks a significant step towards cleaner and more efficient ferry operations. Cities around the world embrace EVs and adopt stricter policies to decarbonise their centres. To achieve this, we need a holistic approach, electrifying transport options of all varieties.

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