First Electric-Propulsion, Air-Supported Ferry Launched in Latvia

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday May 24, 2016

Switzerland's Leclanché Monday announced that BB Green, the world's first electric-propulsion air-supported vessel (ASV) - also noted to be the world's fastest electric-powered ferry - has been launched at Latitude Yachts in Riga, Latvia.

The 70-passanger ferry, which is said to be able to operate at a speed of 30 knots, will be used for demonstration purposes across Europe at first, traveling from Riga to Stockholm, then on to Gothenburg and Oslo.

As Ship & Bunker reported in September, the electric-powered commuter ferry features vacuum-infused carbon sandwich construction, which offers a 40 percent reduction in water resistance through its air-supported monohull.

Leclanché says a battery powered fan in the vessel's bow injects a cavity under the ship with pressurised air, supporting about 80 percent of the vessel's displacement.

The ship is said to feature a 200 kWh lithium–titanate battery (LTO) energy storage system, allowing it to sustain high speed operations for over 30 minutes within a 14 nautical mile range.

BB Green is said to benefit from an ultra-fast charging, which take 15-20 minutes.

"Full electrification of passenger ferries will reduce local emissions and provide silent and comfortable transportation on waterways," said Antti Väyrynen, vice president of Leclanché.

"As the leading manufacturer of lithium-ion battery systems in Europe, Leclanché is proud to have contributed to this very innovative project as the integrated battery system supplier."

BB Green is said to be owned by SES Europe and Green City Ferries.

Leclanché notes that it will also supplying a 4.3 MWh energy storage system to the world's largest electric ferry, set to be launched in Denmark in 2017.

In September, Astilleros Gondán, S.A. (Astilleros Gondán) announced that its Gondan Shipyard GRP Division has built an electric-propelled passenger ferry, the Rio Uso, which can also be powered by built-in solar panels during the day.