In Denmark, the island of Aeroe gets prototype and full-scale demonstration of next generation 100% electrically powered ferry for passengers and vehicles.

Innovative vessel as cost efficient alternative

E-ferry is an innovative project supported by the European initiative H2020 involving the design, building and demonstration of a fully electric powered ‘green’ ferry, which can sail without polluting and CO2 emissions. To validate and prove the feasibility and cost effectiveness of the concept to the industry and ferry operators, the E-ferry is demonstrated in an operational viable setup on the Soeby-Fynshav and Soeby-Faaborg connections in the Danish part of the Baltic Sea connecting the island of Aeroe (Ærø) to the mainland.

The island of Aeroe plans to be self-sufficient in CO2 neutral energy by 2025. Wind turbines already produce 120% of the island’s annual electricity consumption. Therefore, some of this energy can be used for the ferry operation as a cost efficient alternative to fossil-fuelled ferries.

E-ferry will be the world’s most powerful electrical ferry. However, the changeover does not come without a few challenges for the ferry owners who use Orbicon as engineering consultants.

Daniel Virgilsen

Head of Group
+45 51 82 59 72

Worth the trouble

Since an electrically powered ferry needs to be charged more often than a diesel ferry needs to be filled up, there has been a particular emphasis on time optimisation when the ferry docks in Soeby. Thus, the ferry has to sail for one hour to Fynshav/Faaborg and one hour back, and then it needs to charge again for 12 minutes before commencing a new two-hour trip. This has never been tried on this scale before. 

Furthermore, safety concerns need to be taken into consideration, as passengers will be walking close to a charging unit that delivers 4,000 V. The charging unit is the first in the world to be mounted directly onto the leaf of the bridge, and this has proved problematic in terms of space since both vehicles and pedestrians need to use the bridge simultaneously. 

In Soeby Harbour, an older ferry berth, which is not in use today, will be reconstructed for the E-Ferry. In Faaborg and Fynshav, the two berths marked for the E-ferry are currently in use by the almost 40 years old island ferry “Skjoldnæs”. These berths are each to be modified for the new E-Ferry while interrupting the current ferry traffic as little as possible.

In spite of these few challenges, the ferry will be worth the trouble when it enters operation in 2018. Aside from being electrically powered, it reduces the energy consumption by half, and shorten the journey time from 70 to 55 minutes.

E-ferry goes beyond current limitations of similar efforts targeting medium range connections and is likely to be the ferry with the largest battery pack ever installed in a vessel.

Aeroe Ferry + The Municipality of Aeroe
Soeby, Faaborg and Fynshav (Denmark)
Planning and design
of all civil works regarding preparation of the berthing areas in Soeby, Faaborg and Fynshav for the E-Ferry
The scope of the project includes
hydraulic ferry ramp (incl. foundation), new fenders, dredging and bottom protection of seabed, installation of dolphin with fenders and automatic mooring system, new paving, concrete cable duct for charging cables, foundation for transformer station etc.