Battery and energy solutions provider Xalt Energy, part of Germany’s Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, has provided lithium-ion batteries for New Zealand’s first all-electric ferry.

As informed, the batteries have been integrated into the ship’s design by the McKay Group, an electro-technology company that is focused on sustainable transportation solutions.

The new, 19-meter, 135-passenger vessel will be part of the East by West Wellington Harbour Ferry Service fleet and will make approximately nine daily trips between Queens Wharf and Days Bay.

Specifically, Xalt’s batteries will provide the busy vessel with a fume- and emission-free power source that has been optimally configured to meet the design requirements of the ship. The McKay Group has installed 72 XMP 76P lithium-ion battery packs onboard that will supply approximately 550 kWh of energy.

In a country known for its natural beauty and focus on sustainability, the ferry is said to represent a milestone in New Zealand’s marine industry.

“We are honored to play such a crucial role in this environmental achievement,” Felix Nelius, Director, Sales and Application Engineering of battery systems for XALT Energy, said.

“This project completely aligns with our interest in promoting the growth of zero-emission transportation solutions throughout the world.”

The XMP 76P pack system used on the ferry will power two twin electric engines that enable the ferry to reach operational speeds of 20 knots and continuously operate for one hour between charges.

The design and materials used in the ship’s construction – including a lightweight, canoe-shaped displacement hull made of carbon fiber – made system modularity a priority with the McKay Group engineers. They ultimately installed and networked XMP 76P packs in two battery rooms around the ship.

In October 2020, McKay announced it will be developing and implementing New Zealand’s first plug-in fully electrical ferry alongside the Wellington Electric Boat Building Company (WEBBCo), SSC Marine and Gurit with WEBBCo leading the build in Wellington.

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