International shipbuilder Austal has launched a range of new electric-powered high-speed passenger ferries dubbed Volta by the company.
The three-ship range broke cover yesterday with the Perth-based company highlighting the Passenger Express 46V (pictured, centre), a fully electric-powered 46 metre ferry design.
The 46V has a capacity of up to 450 passengers, a maximum speed of 25 knots and fast charging capability, with a range of over 175 nautical miles per day.
The company said in a statement: “Austal’s new Volta series is distinct from existing, electric-powered vessels in the marketplace by going beyond the replacement of diesel engines with an electric (battery) power plant.
“(It offers) a completely integrated design, construction and support solution – including on-shore charging infrastructure and in-service support programs for operators.”
Austal, already the global leader in multi-hulled aluminium passenger/vehicle ferries, has designed a new, light weight low-resistance hull form for the vessels which are equipped with lithium ion batteries.
Austal Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said Volta gave operators a cost-effective electric-powered vessel capable of zero emissions, lower operating costs, a quieter and more comfortable ride, and outstanding reliability.
Gregg said: “For any high speed vessel and even more so for electric-powered ferries, optimising vessel weight and performance is essential – driving not just operating costs, but the size and upfront purchase cost of the batteries and the charging system.
“With Austal’s unique VOLTA series of custom designed and built vessels, customers may achieve a lower total cost of ownership without compromising on performance or capability.”
A video of the new Volta can be viewed here.
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