The Swedish HH Ferries Group has launched two fully electric ferries named Aurora and Tycho Brahe on the stretch between Helsingborg (Sweden) and Heldingör (Denmark). Furthermore, they renamed themselves ForSea Ferries.
The ocean straight between Helsingborg and Helsingör can be crossed in about 20 minutes with the ferries. The route is run every fifteen minutes, 24 hours a day. At each of the docks on either side of the Öresund a fully automated robot arm helps charge the ferries during loading and unloading times; a process that is supposed to take between five and nine minutes.
On board of each of the electric ferries are a total of 640 batteries, weighing about 90 kg each. They are placed in four containers between the smoke stacks on the upper decks, and yield a total capacity of 4,160 kWh, which adds a considerable 280 tonnes the ship’s weight. Each crossing takes about 1,175 kWh, according to the operators, which means that there is a comfortable buffer between battery capacity and energy requirements. As the ferries will also keep the “old” diesel engines on board, the ships would be able to switch to combustion or hybrid propulsion in an emergency. The batteries can also be charged from the on-board diesel motors.
The budget for the project has cost HH Ferries, or ForSea, as they are now named, a total of 300 million Swedish crowns, or about 29 million euros. The EU contributed about 11.5 million euros for the project. According to the operators, the new ferries will allow them to cut emissions down by about 65%. This will help Sweden’s long term goal of becoming climate neutral by 2045, meaning they plan to be mathematically emissions-free.