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Australian shipbuilder launches series of electric-powered high-speed ferries

The 46 metre Passenger Express 46V is designed to provide an environmentally friendly, economical vessel ideal for metropolitan, inland waterway commuter ferry services. 

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The Passenger Express 46V has a capacity of up to 450 passengers
The Passenger Express 46V has a capacity of up to 450 passengers

Austal Australia has announced the Volta series of electric-powered high-speed ferry solutions, with the introduction of the Passenger Express 46V, a fully electric-powered catamaran ferry design.

 

The Australian global shipbuilder claims its new series is distinct from existing, electric-powered vessels in the marketplace by going beyond the replacement of diesel engines with an electric (battery) power plant, to offer a completely integrated design, construction and support solution. This includes onshore charging infrastructure and in-service support programmes for operators.

 

Electric-power propulsion

 

The Volta series of vessels combine all new, light weight, low-resistance hull forms, specifically designed, tested and optimised for electric-power propulsion, with lithium-ion batteries.

 

Austal provides operators with a fully customised design and turnkey solution, taking into account passenger numbers, vessel schedules and charging infrastructure.

 

“For any high-speed vessel and even more so for electric-powered ferries, optimising vessel weight and performance is essential – driving not just operating costs, but the size and upfront purchase cost of the batteries and the charging system,” Paddy Gregg, chief executive officer, Austal.

 

“Austal’s Volta series also future-proofs an operators’ fleet by introducing environmentally friendly, green technology that already meets widely anticipated, low or zero-emission targets for public transport vehicles and operators, worldwide.”

 

The 46 metre Passenger Express 46V is a high-speed passenger ferry, designed to provide an environmentally friendly, economical vessel ideal for metropolitan, inland waterway commuter ferry services. It has a capacity of up to 450 passengers, a maximum speed of 25 knots and fast charging capability, with a reported range of over 175 nautical miles per day.

“For any high-speed vessel and even more so for electric-powered ferries, optimising vessel weight and performance is essential”

According to Austal, the ferry’s double automatic-sliding external doors provide direct, easy access to the passenger deck for fast passenger turnarounds that match or better the succinct battery-charging times offered by the fully integrated, shore-based battery charging infrastructure.

 

Austal said it plans to expand the Volta series through the development of additional models for both commercial and defence applications, including autonomous vessels and continue research and development into emerging propulsion technology, to deliver zero emission marine solutions globally.

 

Austal has shipyards in Australia, the US, Philippines and Vietnam with service centres worldwide. It delivers iconic monohull, catamaran and trimaran commercial vessel platforms – including the world’s largest trimaran ferry.

 

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