VIDEO: World’s most powerful all-electric ferry set to debut

Written by Nick Blenkey
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E-ferry Ellen at Søby Shipyard

The world’s most powerful all-electric ferry thus far will soon start operating on a 22 nautical mile crossing between the Danish islands of Ærø and Fynshav. This is seven times the length of any other route currently served by an all electric plug-in ferry.

Christened Ellen at a June 1 ceremony at Denmark’s Søby Shipyard, the E-ferry is just under 60 m long, has a breadth of approximately 13 m and will travel at speeds between 13-15.5 knots. It is capable of carrying 198 passengers in summer months, with this capacity dropping to 147 during the winter. The ferry can also carry 31 cars or five trucks on its open deck.

With a 4.3 MWh battery pack, the largest currently installed for maritime use, it is also the first electric ferry to have no emergency back-up generator on board.


The full electric drivetrain powering the ferry was supplied to operator Ærø Kommune by Danfoss Editron. The vessel’s Editron system comprises two 750 kW propulsion motors and two 250 kW thruster motors, both of which run off synchronous reluctance assisted permanent magnet technology and are controlled by DC/AC inverters.

Danfoss Editron also provided the vessel’s power management system for the complete on-board automated power and load control. Additionally, the company delivered the onshore charging station and charging arm for the ferry’s 4.3 MW battery.

“The E-ferry project is a very good and concrete example of what a climate friendly future can look like – a ferry that runs on green electricity without discharging any environmentally harmful substances,” said Ærø Kommune’s Mayor Ole Wej Petersen. “I hope people will come to Ærø to experience Ellen and see how the standard for ferry transport can be in the future, not only in Denmark but all over the world.”

Kim Fausing, CEO of Danfoss, commented: “Ellen is an excellent example of the future for electric transport: cleaner, greener and more efficient. It is a great project which demonstrates the potential for electric ferries to end users and the industry itself. It is an EU project and will be an exemplar for electric transport for many years to come. Electrification is key for Danfoss’ success in the future. We will electrify complex machinery, achieving not only reductions in CO2 and other emissions but also improving the productivity and efficiency of such machines. Danfoss is already recognised as a technology leader and we are investing heavily in the business to ensure we stay in the forefront of electrification.”

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