MAY 23, 2015 — Recently launched at the Riga, Latvia, shipyard of Latitude Yachts, a battery powered air supported vessel is being billed as the world’s fastest electric commuter vessel.
The 20 m long BB Green is the result of a five-year long EU-project. The vessel holds up to 70 passengers plus bikes, operates at a speed of 30 knots (56km/h) and will initially be used for demonstration purposes across Europe.
It is powered by a Leclanché lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS).
The ASV technology reduces water resistance by having the ship operate on an air cushion. A battery powered fan in the bow injects pressurized air into a cavity under the ship and supports some 80 percent of the vessel’s displacement. The resistance is reduced by 40 percent at high speed, which makes it possible for the 25-ton vessel to reach a speed of 30 knots propelled by two 280 kW electric motors.
BB Green includes a 200 kWh LTO energy storage system enabling it to operate at high speed for over 30 minutes with a 14 nautical mile (26 km) range. At each stop, it benefits from ultra-fast charging for 15-20 minutes, making it well suited to commuting on inland waterways from outer suburbs to city centers.
“Full electrification of passenger ferries will reduce local emissions and provide silent and comfortable transportation on waterways,” says Leclanché VP Antti Väyrynen. “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 the result of a European project that involved eight main partners:
- SES Europe / Effect Ships International, Norway (Hull technology and design)
- Latitude Yachts, Latvia (Construction)
- Echandia Marine, Sweden (System integration)
- Leclanché, Switzerland (Energy storage systems)
- SSPA, Sweden (Tank testing and documentation)
- Lloyd’s Register (Safety and classification)
- Diab, Sweden (Composite material and engineering)
- Aqualiner, Netherlands (End user partner)
BB Green will soon go on its first “road show” voyage, from Riga to Stockholm, through the canal to Gothenburg and then on to Oslo.
The ship is owned by SES Europe together with Green City Ferries, which will operate the vessel on its maiden voyage.