Scandlines is aiming to have its fleet of six hybrid ferries converted to 100% battery-powered vessels by 2018.
Scandlines is targeting a fleet of six battery-powered, zero emissions vessels by 2018, Seatrade Maritime reports.
The Danish-German ferry operator explains that plug-in hybrid ferries, which can be charged by shore power and run on battery power during the first and last legs of the voyage, are the next step toward Scandlines zero emissions goal.
Marc Bergstein, director of special projects for Scandlines, says that "this would be the first step towards zero emissions," noting that the development of charging infrastructure at the harbour for this route is the next challenge the company faces.
Bergstein says the company is looking at the longer route between Gedser and Rostock, which takes a total of one hour and 45 minutes, to test running the ferries completely on battery power during the first and last 20 minute periods of the voyage.
The batteries will be recharged by diesel engines, which will propel the vessel through mid-voyage, he adds.
The company notes that it will be looking for a partner to work on developing the shore-based charging infrastructure.
Scandlines says that while its goal is to transition to all battery powered ferries, it is a move that must make economical sense for the company.
Marc Bergstein, Director of Special Projects, Scandlines
We are a private company and we need to ensure our investments have a payback.
"We are a private company and we need to ensure our investments have a payback," said Bergstein.
In July, Scandlines announced that the European Union (EU) had agreed to provide the ferry operator with €2.3 million ($3.1 million) for emissions-reducing technology.