World’s Largest Electric Ferry to be Equipped With Massive 4.2 MWh Lithium-Ion Battery

JUN 18 2015 BY TDILLARD 32

The LE

The LeClancé 160Wh NCM cell

When is too much, well, too much?  Not when it’s a just-right 4.2 MWh to drive the world’s largest electric ferry, apparently.

Via a press release from LeClanché, the Swiss battery manufacturer, we learned that the company has worked with Danish shipbuilder Søby Shipyard Ltd. to put together a plan for the largest battery pack in a ferry, possibly the largest battery pack in a vehicle, for completion in the June 2017 timeframe.  The project is “one of the Top 5 projects in the EU Horizon 2020 initiative, a program with a total budget of 21 million euros, this initiative is part of the Danish Natura project, which guarantees local people green transportation in these areas.”

The LeClanché team is working with the Visedo company to build a fully integrated drivetrain.  Projected environmental gains?

“CO2 emissions will be reduced by 2000 tons and NOx by 41.5 tons per year compared with an existing diesel ferry. The silent electric motors will also reduce emitted noise level and the new vessel will reduce wake waves right behind the ferry by 60-70% which allows navigation in the shallow Danish Natura areas. A record breaking charging power of up to 4 MW allows short port stays and efficient operation.

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32 Comments on "World’s Largest Electric Ferry to be Equipped With Massive 4.2 MWh Lithium-Ion Battery"

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Well, the press release is more than one week old – better than never 😉

And if I understand that website correctly, the cells are being produced in Germany (“The production of large format lithium-ion-cells takes place at our site in Willstätt in Baden.”).


would love to have a clip Dr. Evil saying “MEGA-watts”


Depends if he was referring to the massive charge rate or the massive battery size. 😉

Sorry, but I don’t get what you want to say. The charging power is of course in MW. In other words: It’s roughly 1C. Yes, I know that some people mix it up, but I couldn’t see any mistake when I read the article the first time.


How big is the EVSE/DCFC for this thing?

How long does it take to charge on 120V?

… and does it default to 8 amps each time they dock at port? 🙂

…and what should the captain do if she loses the RFID card for the charger.

What if a diesel boat parks in his spot?

The ferry’s prow will be equipped with the world’s largest cattle prod to handle that eventuality.


135 years give or take a week?

“…the new vessel will reduce wake waves right behind the ferry by 60-70%…”

I wonder how they’re going to achieve that. Perhaps a larger number of smaller propellers? Or would a switch to some propulsion system other than propellers, perhaps water jets, produce significantly less wake?

Inquiring minds want to know! 🙂

I think you got it right, with electric they will be able to run multiple small engines which should, in theory, prevent those massive vortex behind the impellers.

Wake does not equal vortex! Though that distinction may have been lost on the articles author, too. So we may still all be talking about the same thing.

Perhaps they are going to use rudderless azimuth thrusters, which can be lowered and retracted.

See page 2 for retractable thruster:

Just as in noise cancelling headsets, it will be equipped with a “negative wake generator” that will generate wakes against the natural wakes caused by the boat, cancelling it out.

Perhaps MHD drive like on this one:

The first?

“The ferry, which is 80 meters long, is driven by two electric motors, each with an output of 450 kilowatts. Both are powered by lithium-ion batteries. The batteries have a combined capacity of 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh), which is enough to make a few trips between the two fjord communities. After that the batteries need to be recharged.”

The batteries are recharged by a dock-based battery that sips electricity instead of using a huge hit to the grid.

The title does say “largest”, not first…

Hum, and the title is about 4.2 MWh of battery!
Go figure.

Isn’t it the usual time for someone to post how long it would take a Tesla model S to charge at this wattage?

Yes. Go!

135kW Supercharger and 4.2 MWh energy to load would take around:

4200 kWh / 135 kW = 31h + 1 h for tappering of charge rate for the last 1-3% of the battery.

It’s not that bad. If you assume the battery has around 10-20% left when they recharge again this would be around 24h. To charge over the night you need basically only 4 times the charge rate of a supercharger = half a MW charger.

Looks like the answer would rather be 85 KWh with 4 MW giving a 1 minute and 16.5 second fill up time, if the battery can handle the rate.

No it can’t!

Indeed…for now.

It’s awesome, yet just a bit depressing as well.

The US failed to make an effort in this modern technology because the political controls are fully owned by big money, and big money (currently) comes almost exclusively from environmentally destructive industries.

Not exactly because it depend in which sector you look. In the military sector the us is actually making innovation in superconducting naval motors. These are more efficient and much more compact in the same time.

Sooner or later they will find their way on non military ships too. In more they could be applied for generators as well. This could be useful for lighter, more efficient wind generators, especially with higher temperature superconductors combined with new thermoacoustic cryogenic systems.

Would be quite interesting to see the installation: 4000 kw charge rate would be around 6100 amps at 380 volts, so they probably use a medium voltage solution to keep the current more reasonable. Even at 480 volts it would be a bit more than 4800 amps so no wireless charging option for this ship just yet. Speaking of charging, the Buffalo area charger in Eastern Hills mall is finally operational. 8 stalls, with a particularly ugly (the worst I’ve seen by pictures) equipment crib. Looks like a big wood shipping crate. Out of place in front of a snazy mall parking lot. I didn’t know how to ‘read’ NYSEG electric meters (I’m much more familiar with the National Grid ones where I live), but trained myself on the nearby AAA building where I was charging my ELR while looking. So far, the Tesla installation has a monthly demand peak of 114 kw, so I assume that means at some point 2 cars were charging at once. I’d like to see an ’empty’ 85kwh S start charging there, and ‘read’ the revenue meter to see how much juice is actually taken from the power line while the car is charging.