Artemis takes wraps off advanced foil ferry design

Written by Nick Blenkey
Artemis Technologies new ferry concepy

Artemis Technologies all-electric EP-24 foiling ferry will carry 150 passengers at speeds up to 38 knots.

Belfast, Northern Ireland, based Artemis Technologies is hoping to claim a “world first” in the race to put a high-speed all-electric, foiling ferry into actual passenger operation. It has just unveiled the design of its new 100% electric EF-24 Passenger vessel, targeting the global high-speed ferry market. It has also announced a partnership with Condor Ferries, a long-established operator of ferries serving the mainland U.K., the Channel Islands and France. The plan is for Condor operate a pilot scheme using Artemis’s EF-24 in 2024, running between Belfast and Bangor in Northern Ireland.

“As a leading operator of passenger ferries, we continuously seek to explore technology that will allow us to sail more sustainably, and we know our customers are of the same mindset,” said John Napton, CEO of Condor Ferries. “Green vessels like the EF-24 passenger ferry perfectly provide that clean alternative to traditional diesel ferries. We are thrilled to partner with Artemis Technologies and the Belfast Maritime Consortium to develop these vessels from concept to reality over the coming months and look forward to being the first operator to set sail in 2024 with the world’s most advanced zero-emission foiling fast ferry.”

Artemis Technologies is a spin-off from the Artemis Racing team that competed in the America’s Cup of which its founder, two-time Olympic champion Dr. Iain Percy OBE is a four-time veteran. The EF-24 is one of several zero-emission vessels being developed by Artemis, which earlier this year demonstrated a 12-meter long foiling workboat in Belfast Harbor.

At 24 meters, the EF-24 is twice as long as that boat and is designed to deliver a top speed of 38 knots, and to offers a range of 115 nautical miles at a 25 knots cruise speed while producing fuel savings of up to 85% compared to conventional high-speed diesel ferries.

Powered by the same patented eFoiler electric propulsion system demonstrated in the workboat, the vessel will fly above the water, providing what the company says will be a “comfortable ride for up to 150 passengers on board, mitigating effects of seasickness and producing minimal wake at high-speed, significantly reducing the impact on shorelines.”

The EF-24 vessels will also feature a unique high-speed collision avoidance system developed with ECIT, part of Queen’s University Belfast. The system will ensure the safety of operations in port and close to shore by safely diverting the ferry on an altered path away from sea life, wildlife, debris and other in-water objects that might otherwise be obscured from view.

“The zero-emission ferry that will be seen departing Belfast in 2024, aptly named ‘Zero’, will be the first we build at our manufacturing hub in the city, but it is only the start,” said Percy. “Many water-based cities around the world are grappling with the challenge of growing populations, congestion, and pollution.

“The EF-24 Passenger can provide an immediate green transport solution that competes economically with road and rail in places like San Francisco, New York, Venice, Istanbul, Dubai, and Singapore – anywhere around the globe that is seeking sustainable transport alternatives that balance the requirement for people to continue to move around with the need to reduce carbon emissions.

“Especially where new infrastructure is required like a new road or rail line, this ferry will not only be the cheapest, but also the fastest and least disruptive way to decarbonize transport networks in water-based cities.”

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