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Thursday, December 9, 2021 

Incat Crowther has won a contract to provide its Incat Crowther 32 design for an electric ferry to be operated by Fullers360 of Auckland, New Zealand.

To be built by Q-West, the 34.6m aluminium ferry will be the designer’s sixth from the builder and will join ten other Incat Crowther ferries in the Fullers360 fleet. Fullers360 announced it has reached this milestone in its decarbonisation journey with Auckland’s first electric hybrid fast ferry for Fullers360’s Auckland ferry fleet. This critical first step will reduce carbon emissions by 750,000kg per year on the Devonport route alone.

The new electric ferry is thought to offer an optimum combination of efficiency and flexibility. With the design developed specifically for the route, the vessel will provide an efficient, low emission, quiet service between Auckland and Devonport. The vessel cabin is modular, with the main deck configured for metro operations and overflow capacity to the upper deck.

Flexibility is provided by an enhanced capability to operate on other routes on the network. The drivetrain features the ability to employ a pair of range-extending Scania-powered generators that can be used in conjunction with the battery bank. This technology supports the electrification transition while the charging network is expanded to allow all-electric operation on longer trips. The design is compatible to be retrofitted with hydrogen fuel for increased range as the fuel becomes more widely available in the future.

The vessel’s drivetrain consists of four Danfoss EM-PMI540-T4000 electric motors directly mounted to Hamilton HTX42 water jets, with a battery capacity of 1944 kWh to achieve maximum speeds over 28 knots. An advanced energy management system controls the deployment of the system over a range of usage profiles. As well as the primary electric-only profile, the vessel can extend its range by a mode directly feeding the propulsion motors from the generators, a mode that charges the batteries from the generators, and a hybrid boost mode that combines both sources.

The new vessel is Fullers360’s first step towards building a fleet that eliminates the use of fossils fuels in Auckland Harbour. New Zealand is considered a leading force in renewable energy, with over 80% from renewable sources such as hydro, wind and geothermal. As such, the use of electric propulsion in the city’s public transport represents an immediate reduction of emissions over diesel propulsion.

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