The MS Jungfrau, the flagship of the BLS tourist fleet, has been converted into a hybrid ship. The battery system with 168 kWh was supplied by the Swiss manufacturer Leclanché. It allows 30 minutes of pure electric operation as well as recharging on the job or at the port.
The battery is a lithium-ion battery system from Leclanché, consisting of two units of twelve 16s2p modules each and equipped with 60Ah G/NMC cells. It can supply different areas of the vessel (engine, lighting, galley, etc.) depending on the needs of the users. When the vessel is in hybrid mode, the battery lasts up to 10.5 hours. Leclanché states that the charging time at the port is less than 1.5 hours.
According to BLS estimates, the use of the system saves the MS Jungfrau around 12,000 litres of diesel per year, reducing CO2 emissions by around 30 tonnes.
The propulsion system of the MS Jungfrau, which was built in 1954 and holds 700 passengers, has been completely modernised and equipped with a hybrid electric and diesel drive. The ship sails between Interlaken-Ost and Brienz in Switzerland.
Despite the age of the contract, the MS Jungfrau does not use the latest battery technology from Leclanché: the company had already introduced a new 65 Ah pouch cell in April 2021 as the successor to the 60 Ah version. The GL 65 Ah G/NMC (graphite/nickel-manganese-cobalt oxide) offers higher ranges and longer operating times. It is manufactured at the German site in Willstätt.
In December 2021, the battery manufacturer announced it would spin off its electric mobility business. The new wholly-owned Swiss company called Leclanché E-Mobility S.A. was founded on 16 December 2021. Leclanché intends to merge this company with a US-listed SPAC.
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