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  • Writer's pictureLuxury Edition

BLT Finds the Drivetrain Supplier for Its "Fastest, Longest-Range" Electric Ferry

Back in November, a California-based startup announced its bold dream to decarbonize the maritime industry with a one-of-a-kind hydrofoil electric ferry. Advertised as the fastest and longest-range one in the world, ELECTRA has now found an electrical drivetrain system supplier to power it up.

The marine technology company in charge of developing the ELECTRA is Boundary Layer Technologies (BLT) and its new partner is Danfoss, through its Editron division, with the latter specializing in hybrid and electric powertrain systems for the marine, off and on-highway markets.

Thanks to the new agreement signed by the two, BLT takes one step forward in bringing its vision to fruition, accelerating the delivery of its highly-acclaimed electric ferry. As explained by BLT, the plan is to couple the Editron Marine System with its own podded z-drive propulsion. Editron’s electrical drivetrain system is specifically tailored for marine vessels and is a complete solution including DC distribution, electric power generation, energy storage utilization, propulsion, and thruster drivetrains.

The drives used for the ELECTRA are light and small in size, allowing BLT to offer a longer range and better reliability (you can find out more about them in the attached press release).

While the idea is to come up with cleaner alternatives that can lead to a visible reduction in emissions, ferry manufacturers are also striving not to sacrifice the watercraft’s performance and to keep everything as cost-effective as possible.

With a claimed range of 100 nautical miles and a cruise speed of 40 knots (46 mph/74 kph), ELECTRA looks like a promising solution, with BLT boasting that these numbers represent twice the speed and range of existing electric ferries on the market. This also translates into an approximately 35 percent lifetime reduction in operating costs for the vessel’s owner, compared to a standard diesel-powered ferry, as stated by Ed Kearney, CEO of BLT.

ELECTRA will have a capacity of 150 passengers and will pack a 9000-kWh battery. Its battery-electric propulsion will make it 20 dB quieter than a traditional ferry.

If everything goes according to plan, BLT plans to deliver the first units to customers by the first quarter of 2024. Those who are interested in getting all the specs and/or other details on the ELECTRA, have to contact the company.

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