NZ: Auckland to launch first electric ferries in 2024

The New Zealand Government has confirmed Auckland will receive its first electric ferries by 2024 since the city plans to have an entirely electric fleet of passenger ferries by 2040. Local marine technology firm EV Maritime got Danfoss Editron on board to deliver the drive.

The electric ferries have been under development for nearly three years by EV Maritime, an offshoot of boatbuilder McMullen and Wing. Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods made the announcement outside the city’s downtown ferry terminal this week.

The new 24-meter vessels will be capable of carrying up to 200 passengers and travelling at speeds up to 25 knots, nearly 43 kph. EV Maritime says it will use longer-lasting composite materials.

From Danfoss comes the electronic and power management marine system comprising converters, propulsion machines, DC-link, transformers and an energy management system. The vessels’ propulsion will be enabled by four jet propulsors driven by the motors.

Danfoss’ Editron division will also provide an independent battery connection for each battery string, delivering fully electric power to the motors regardless of the battery stage and voltage. In the event of a fault, the EDITRON DC-system’s single-fault tolerance will guarantee that all four thrusters can continue running on at least half power, or three thrusters can run on full power.

Philipp Fedorov, marine sales director of Danfoss’ Editron division, expects further commercial roll ous following the launch in Auckland. “Our approach also means that batteries can be easily upgraded,” he added. “Furthermore, it allows different battery makers to integrate into one system or add alternative energy sources such as fuel cells. This concept, co-developed with EV Maritime, will be easy to scale, replicate, and implement in any location and environment.”

Minister Woods confirmed $27 million of funding from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to cover approximately 75% of the construction cost of the two electric ferries. Auckland, the most populous urban area on the North Island, lounges around two large harbours with a number of ferry services.


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