Molslinjen set to debut electric ferry next year

Denmark’s largest ferry company Molslinjen is set to launch the country’s first fully commercial electric ferry in September next year.

The new ferry, which will use motors from Danfoss Editron, will service the route between the Danish coastal town of Esbjerg and the island Fanø in the southern part of the North Sea. The route means the ferry will be operating in UNESCO World Heritage waters of the Wadden Sea – so its zero emissions and low noise will be a significant boon.  

‘This will be our first and most certainly not the last ferry powered by electricity,’ said Ole Berg-Hansen, project lead from Molslinjen, on building the new ferry. ‘We are operating the route on a contract with the municipality of Fanø and they were asking for a greener solution. Now we will be expanding the capacity for the route and at the same time take the first step to make our ferry service green.’

The ferry will be propelled by two 375kW propulsion electrical motors from Danfoss Editron; one in the front and one in the aft end. The two propulsion systems run independently and are controlled by Danfoss Drives converters. 

The ferry will be charged automatically when docked in the harbour in Esbjerg during the eight minutes of off-loading and loading of passengers.

When it launches next year, the new vessel will complement Molslinjen’s two existing diesel-powered ferries on the Fanø-Esbjerg route.

Like the two diesel-powered vessels, the new electric ferry has been especially designed to sail the low waters of the Wadden Sea. The new vessel’s hull is currently being built in Poland. It will be tugged to the shipyard in Hvide Sande, about 70 kilometres from its new home town, where the new build will be completed and all electrical systems fitted.

‘Electrification is the future, and the requests we get for new ferries and boats are electric. We have built hybrid ferries, however, a fully electric is a new type of project and very interesting because it will give us a solid foundation as to what are the best solutions, including the system from Danfoss,’ said David Birkwald Thorstensen, Project Manager, Hvide Sande Shipyard.

Ian Taylor

Ian Taylor