Thailand-based electric services company Energy Absolute is investing US$33 million into the creation of an all-electric passenger ferry service on Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River, with roll-out of the vessels scheduled to commence in Q4 this year. The programme plans to introduce a total of 27 ferry catamarans on the river, each measuring 24m in length and capable of carrying 200 passengers, powered solely by electric motors in a bid to tackle air pollution – a perennial problem for the Thai capital.
Each ferry will incorporate twin EM-PMI375-T800 motors supplied by Danfoss Editron, and these will be rated between 174-192kW, depending on the temperature at which they are operating. In a statement issued in early October, Danfoss Editron claimed that these pure-electric ferries could spare Bangkok approximately 8,600tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.
In addition to funding the ferries, Energy Absolute's investment will cover the creation of dockside fast-charging stations, developed to charge each ferry within approximately 15 minutes. The intention is for the ferries to operate for two to four hours, or with a range of 80-100km, on a single charge.
At the time of writing, two of the ferries were undergoing trials. David Hunter, Danfoss Editron’s Asia-Pacific business development manager, comments: “This project…will help to curb the need for further tunnels and roads, with the waterways becoming a more popular mode of transport once again.” And, judging by initial renderings, the ferries will prove quite eye-catching, featuring a sleek and modern design.