Alameda, Calif.-based marine technology startup Boundary Layer Technologies has released a concept design for a zero-emission all-electric ferry said to have twice the speed and range of existing e-ferries.
Called Electra, the ferry is designed to have a range of up to 100 nautical miles and a cruising speed speed of 40 knots using Boundary Layer Technology’s proprietary hydrofoil technology and podded propulsion system.
Compared to fossil fuel alternatives, Electra’s battery electric propulsion significantly reduces cabin noise by up to 20dB compared to conventional ferries. Its foiling system also offers excellent seakeeping and ride comfort.
“Hydrofoil technology is the key to enabling electrification of passenger ferries,” says Ed Kearney, CEO of Boundary Layer Technologies. “By reducing the drag of the vessel by a factor of two, the powering requirements are also halved, which increases the speed and range of what an electric ferry can do. This opens the door to electrification of the majority of ferry routes across the world.”
The Electra ferry is said to offer OPEX reductions of up to 35% compared to fossil fuel burning fast ferry alternatives while helping operators de-risk the future cost uncertainties of carbon taxes and emissions trading schemes.
Someone who is impressed with the concept is Patrick Murphy, president of Blue & Gold Fleet, the contract operator of San Francisco’s 15 high-speed ferries.
“We think Electra is an exciting development of ferry technology and shows promise for decarbonizing ferry operations and adding to the customer’s experience,” he says.
Boundary Layer Technologies has already developed the hydrofoil and control systems required for Electra and plans to have the first vessels in operation by first quarter 2024. in regions such as the United States, Scandinavia, and the Mediterranean.