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Ellen electric ferry
Ellen electric ferry via European Commission

Clean Transport

World’s Largest All-Electric Ferry Enters Revenue Service In Denmark

Ellen, the world’s most powerful all electric ferry, has entered revenue service in southern Denmark, moving the zero emissions transportation revolution forward another step.

Ellen, the most powerful all-electric ferry in the world, has completed sea trials, survived shakedown cruises, celebrated its maiden voyage, and has now entered revenue service on the 22-mile route between the cities of Søby and Fynshav, on the islands of Ærø and Als in southern Denmark. That voyage is seven times longer than any other e-ferry route, according to Electric & Hybrid Marine. The Ellen can carry 200 passengers as well as 30 cars or 5 trucks.

All electric means just that. There are no backup diesel or gasoline engines on board the Ellen. Instead, there is an enormous 4.3 MWh battery supplied by Leclanché powering two 750 kW electric main propulsion motors and two 250 kW auxiliary motors for maneuvering. The battery system uses high energy G-NMC lithium-ion cells with safety features such as a bi-cellular laminated design and ceramic separators. Leclanché also supplied an approved and certified marine rack system that includes fire prevention and suppression systems as well as the onshore recharging infrastructure. The motors were supplied by Danfoss Editron.

“Over one year, the e-ferry will prevent the release into the atmosphere of 2,000 tons of CO2, 42 tons of NOx, 2.5 tons of particulates and 1.4 tons of SO2,” said Anil Srivastava, CEO of Leclanché. “This project demonstrates that we can replace fossil fuel thermal drives with clean energy today, and contribute to the fight against global warming and pollution for the well-being of our communities.”

Built at the shipyard in Søby on Als, the Ellen was conceived through a partnership between Ærø Municipality as part of the Danish Natura project, which aims to provide environmentally friendly transport for residents, and the EU. The union initiated the project in 2015 with funding through the Horizon 2020 and Innovation Program, according to Electrive.

Ferries are a vital part of the transportation network in Scandinavian countries. Not only do they have lots of islands, but it is often quicker to travel between cities by sea than it is to drive. The global economy has depended on diesel engines to carry cargo and people for many decades, but the time has come to replace them with clean electric power. The Ellen is another step forward in the zero carbon transportation revolution.

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Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."


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