Naval architect C-Job has submitted a design tender for five all-electric car and passenger ferries, intended for deployment in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in the 2020s. The designs have been drafted for transport service operator GVB, which intends to replace some of its existing ro-ro ferries operating along the North Sea Channel, between Amsterdam and IJmuiden, with these emissions-free newbuilds.
GVB currently runs ferry, tram, bus and metro services across the Dutch capital, overseeing more than 800,000 passenger journeys daily, and the operator is keen to ‘greenify’ its waterborne fleet, in tandem with the City of Amsterdam’s goal to eliminate all emissions from its urban ferries by 2025.
In early February, C-Job confirmed that the tender process was still ongoing, though, if selected, the first of the five new ferries will most likely be launched in 2020.
Each of the C-Job-designed electric ferries is expected to feature a length of 41m, a total loading capacity of 245tonnes and the capacity to carry up to 400 passengers, 20 cars or four trucks. All five will be certified to meet Dutch inland waterway requirements. Each will also feature the capability to transport convoi exceptionnel, or oversize loads, of up to 100tonnes with an axle weight of 12tonnes.
These ferries have been designed to be charged during the passenger and vehicle embarkation/disembarkation phases. C-Job tells Ship & Boat International: “The vessels will operate on a 24/7 basis, which means 72 trips per day. Charging is conducted at one side of the canal. For every return trip of 20 minutes, the ferry has four minutes of charging time.”
However, to ensure back-up in special circumstances, the ferries will also be equipped with onboard diesel generators, which will enable them to charge their own battery packs rather than having to rely solely on shore-based charging points. Pim Schulp, project manager at C-Job, comments: “It is important that these ferries will always be able to sail, no matter the weather. So, for example, in wind conditions stronger than Beaufort force 8 or 9, the generator can be called on to charge the batteries. Another example would be when the ferry needs to sail to a nearby shipyard for service or maintenance.”
C-Job’s proposed design includes the strategic application of movable dividing railings, which can be used to create separate, safe enclosures for foot passengers and vehicles, depending on each journey’s complement. C-Job explains: “These railings are manually operated and can be adjusted by one crew member in two minutes, in order to adapt to the type of onboard traffic.” Meanwhile, to keep overall vessel weight to a minimum, and to extend periods between maintenance, C-Job has selected aluminium for the ferries’ superstructures, bulwarks and railings.