Brødrene Aa developing a 23 knot electric ferry

In Norway, a 42-meter-long, all-electric ferry for 297 passengers will soon go into operation. The Rygerelektra, built by the Norwegian shipbuilder Brødrene Aa, will be used by ferry operator Rødne Fjord Cruise as a sightseeing ship in the coastal town of Stavanger in the south of Norway.

The ferry’s technical data are worth a second look. The Rygerelektra has an enormous battery system with a capacity of 2 MWh and two main electric motors with 375 kW each onboard. In tests, the carbon fibre built ship reached a top speed of 23 knots (42.6 km/h), but for regular operation, the speed will be capped at 19.9 knots (36.9 km/h).

The ferry’s range depends strongly on the cruising speed. At 18 knots (33.3 km/h), for example, it should be able to cover 40 nautical miles, which corresponds to a distance of 74 kilometres. The operator expects this performance even when the ferry is fully loaded. According to the manufacturer, one knot less will result in 50 nautical miles, about 93 kilometres. A battery buffer of 30 per cent is always taken into account when calculating the range. Theoretically, the Rygerelektra can go much further.

Brødrene Aa has already delivered a similar-sized electric ferry in 2018, called the Future of the Fjords. This vessel can travel 20 nautical miles at 16 knots. “Since that time, the battery and propulsion technology, as well as the design of the hull, have improved, so the range of the Rygerelktra has increased dramatically compared to what was possible two years ago,” the shipbuilder says.

The company describes the carbon fibre construction as a special feature of its own ferries. Brødrene Aa has been building ships based on this material since the early 2000s. Thanks to carbon fibre, the Rygerelektra is around 40 per cent lighter than an aluminium ship of the same size, the manufacturer adds. The performance data is a result of the lightweight construction technology in combination with the powerful propulsion system.

The Rygerelektra will be used by Rødne Fjord Cruise, a long-standing customer of Brødrene Aa. According to the Norwegian company, this is already the 20th ship that Rødne Fjord Cruise has taken over from the shipbuilder. The new electric ferry is to become the ferry operator’s new flagship.,,,


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