Auckland to introduce the first two fully electric fast ferries to its fleet

Thursday, April 28, 2022

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – Danfoss Power Solutions’ Editron division will provide the electric drivetrain systems that will power Auckland’s first two fully electric fast passenger ferries. The project will be the first to be delivered as part of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with marine technology firm EV Maritime, which will see the two companies partner to electrify fully electric fast ferry fleets in cities worldwide.

  • Auckland is aiming for an entirely electric fleet of passenger ferries by 2040, which is expected to save one million tons of CO2 annually.
  • New Zealand organization EV Maritime is developing the city’s first two fully-electric fast ferries, which will be powered by electric drivetrain systems provided by Danfoss Power Solutions’ Editron division.
  • The project is part of a memorandum of understanding between the two companies to electrify urban rapid transit fleets worldwide.

With approximately six million passenger journeys per year, Auckland’s current ferry fleet burns 13 million liters of diesel annually, releasing about 34,000 tons of CO2. To overcome this issue, Auckland Transport is aiming for its ferry services to become 100% electric by 2030, which should save one million tons of CO2 every year.

To help achieve this ambitious target, Danfoss’ Editron division and EV Maritime have partnered to develop the city’s first two high-speed, full-size, zero-emission fast ferries, which will  hit the water in 2024. The 24-meter vessels will be capable of carrying up to 200 passengers and traveling at speeds up to 25 knots. Each ferry will save at least a thousand tons of CO2 annually and will be built using longer-lasting composite materials.

Designed and engineered in New Zealand by EV Maritime, the ferries will be powered by an EDITRON electronic and power management marine system comprising converters, propulsion machines, DC-link, transformers and an energy management system. The vessels’ propulsion will be enabled by four jet propulsors driven by the motors.

Danfoss’ Editron division will also provide an independent battery connection for each battery string, delivering high efficiency and fully electric power to the motors regardless of the battery stage and voltage. In the event of a fault, the EDITRON DC-system’s single-fault tolerance will guarantee that all four thrusters can continue running on at least half power, or three thrusters can run on full power.

Philipp Fedorov, marine sales director of Danfoss’ Editron division, explained:

“Achieving a zero-emissions marine industry is a team effort, so we’re excited by the new opportunities this MOU will offer. Our future commercial rollout, beginning in Auckland, will bring together the latest electric propulsion technologies and shore charging infrastructure.

Our solution is one of the most efficient, compact, and reliable on the market, while our approach also means that batteries can be easily upgraded. Furthermore, it allows different battery makers to integrate into one system or add alternative energy sources such as fuel cells. This concept, co-developed with EV Maritime, will be easy to scale, replicate, and implement in any location and environment.”

Michael Eaglen, co-founder and CEO of EV Maritime, added:

“We chose to partner with Danfoss’ Editron division for its weight and size-efficient power electronics, which are a significant enabler of the high-speed capabilities that set these vessels apart. This project aims to create an innovative and pioneering zero-emissions urban transportation alternative. We believe it’s only the beginning of Auckland’s marine electrification journey and are looking forward to working on future  projects with Danfoss worldwide.”