Volvo Penta engines and technology innovator ABB have announced a program to evaluate whether Volvo’s fast-charge technology for electric buses can be adapted for marine applications. ABB supplies the 300kW High Power chargers for the buses and provides extensive at-sea knowledge through its experience with on-shore charging and storage systems. This study is another step in VolvoPenta’s commitment to going electric by 2021.
Also involved is Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, where the e-buses operate and an electric ferry service is planned. The buses are in use on a busy route and recharge in just three to six minutes through an automated rooftop connection.
Fast charging will help grow electric boating
Niklas Thulin, Director Electromobility, Volvo Penta, said “A network of fast charging stations needs to be developed so that all-electric boating can grow and be a success. We believe we can leverage proven technology from the Volvo Group to develop hybrid & electric solutions onboard.”
ABB is a leader in all aspects of electric marine propulsion, particularly with its charging systems for ferries. Among other projects, it provides the technology for the world’s largest emission free ferries (running between Denmark and Sweden), for Iceland’s new electric ferry, and is part of the network being used to power the world’s first hydrogen river boat in France.
“ABB is committed to running the world without consuming the Earth, and to further enhancing energy efficiency and emission reduction for shipping with electric, digital and connected technologies,” said Jörgen Karlsson, Head of Sales, ABB Marine Sweden.
Technology adopted will be open source
Yujing Liu, professor and head of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics at Chalmers, said the task of the project is to “Review all feasible solutions and the investigate the potential to utilize emerging technologies such as automatic docking and wireless power transfer.”
While the project is only at the inception stage, it has already been decided that the final technology adopted will be open source, helping to speed up the global adoption of electric marine mobility.