Zero-emission ferries could be seen as the equivalent of green public transport buses for regions where maritime transportation predominates. Switching to battery-electric alternatives can be harder for regional mobility, where range and speed are top requirements, but hybrid-propulsion vehicles provide a solution in the meantime, reports Autoevolution.
Two big names are backing Liberty Lines’ renewal process. One of them is Incat Crowther, a maritime expert that’s renowned for its yachts as much as for its workboats, and the other is Rolls-Royce, who has committed to adapting its propulsion solutions for the net-zero carbon goal.
Together, these two will give birth to a monohull passenger ferry that’s 38 meters long (125 feet) and fitted with hybrid propulsion. The Rolls-Royce MTU integrated system includes two 16V4000M65L engines and two e-motors, two variable-speed gensets, two gearboxes, and a battery system. Also fitted with a hybrid automation system, the new ferry can switch to various operating modes.
The acclaimed Spanish shipyard Astilleros Armon is in charge of building the future ferries. Each of them will accommodate up to 251 passengers – 166 on the main deck, and 85 on the upper deck. The main deck will also be fitted with a bar and five bathrooms, plus two extra bathrooms on the upper deck. The new ferries are also designed to provide ample storage space, including overhead luggage bins and generous luggage racks.
The Italian ferry operator has already ordered 12 of these new vessels, which are expected to enter service three years from now.
Incat Crowther has also designed a hybrid catamaran with a larger capacity (299 passengers) for the Fullers360 fleet, operating between Auckland and Devonport, in Australia. Plus, it’s known for having designed the longest high-speed ferry in the world, currently being adapted to run on LNG.
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