Lisbon’s Tagus River gets all-electric ferry powered by ABB

By Riley Simpson30 March 2023

The new all-electric 40-meter ferry, powered by ABB’s no-emission battery and propulsion system. (Photo courtesy of ABB)

Lisbon commuters now have an emission-free option for traversing the Portuguese capital, with the first of 10 all-electric ferries now operating along the Tagus River.

Delivered to the city by shipyard Astilleros Gondán and operated by urban transport provider Transtejo, the first 40-meter ferry, powered by an energy-storage and propulsion system by technology engineering company ABB, can hold 540 passengers.

The ABB Onboard DC Grid manages the ferry’s power distribution, and each ship’s 1860-kWh battery can recharge within five to 10 minutes.

ABB is providing the control and rectifier systems for shore power, in addition to the communications system that identifies when the ferry is arriving, its charging status and the power required to charge.

According to ABB, the new ferries will cut approximately 6500 tons of CO2 emissions, equivalent to 1400 passenger cars, along the Tagus River per year.

Once all 10 vessels are operational, the fleet will help Portugal achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, and the project debuts on the heels of Lisbon winning the 2020 European Green Capital award.

“Lisbon is making waves as a pioneer in environmentally friendly public transportation, as many of the world’s cities realize the benefits electric ferries bring for sustainability,” said Juha Koskela, division president of ABB Marine & Ports. “ABB’s leading position in integrated electrification solutions for urban ferries is a highly visible example of our work to make the maritime industry safer, smarter and more sustainable. We at ABB are proud to play a key role in shaping shipping’s new reality.”

There are 586 battery-powered vessels operating worldwide, with 195 more on order, according to ABB. Recent projects include the Maid of the Mist Niagara Falls tour boats, ferry conversions for Swedish owner ForSea Ferries and a new ferry connecting mainland Iceland to Vestmannaeyjar Island.

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