Volvo Penta to electrify Swedish ferry

In one of the first public demonstrations of its commitment to having electric power solutions for boats by 2021, Volvo Penta has announced that they will be retrofitting a ferry in Gothenburg, Sweden, to be fully electric.

The retrofit will start in early 2020 and the redone ferry is expected to go into service in the latter part of the year, linking the banks of the city’s Göta River.

It is part of Gothenburg’s ElectriCity initiative which “involves developing, testing, demonstrating and evaluating solutions that will contribute to the establishment of new, sustainable, attractive transportation systems and open up new opportunities for future travel, transportation of goods and urban planning.”

Gothenburg is already a world leader in sustainability

An electric articulated bus in Gothernburg, Sweden, supplied by Volvo
Volvo also supplies Gothenburg with electric buses

Gothenburg is already one of the world’s most progressive in addressing climate and environmental issues, holding the highest ranking – 94% – in the 2018 Global Destination Sustainability Index.

Volvo has already worked with the city in the electrification of transport, having supplied electric buses, both standard and articulated, for the city’s fleet.

The Göta river and its ferries are an essential component of Gothernburg’s transportation network. There are diesel-electric ferries operating on short routes across the river, but the Volvo Penta vessel will be the first fully-electric ferry in the city that can address longer, multi-stop routes along the waterway.

The work on converting the ferry – Älvsnabben 4 – involves removing its diesel drivelines and replacing them with a battery-electric system of equal power, but with considerably more maximum torque. Initially, the ferry will be charged overnight, (supported by an onboard generator running on HVO biodiesel) but will eventually incorporate quick charging capabilities.

Björn Ingemanson, President of Volvo Penta, said about the project and future “As part of the Volvo Group, we have access to the technology and expertise from many years of development with electric mobility. Now, we aim to adapt it for use in a marine environment, bringing the benefits of proven technology into a new context.”


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