Austal Australia debuts fast electric ferry

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Shipbuilder Austal Australia has launched its Volta series of electric-powered high-speed ferry solutions, with the introduction of the Passenger Express 46V, a fully electric, 46m catamaran ferry design.

Austal says the Volta series is distinct from existing electric-powered vessels in the marketplace as its design goes beyond the replacement of diesel engines with an electric (battery) powerplant, offering a completely integrated design, construction and support solution – including on-shore charging infrastructure and in-service support programs for operators.

The vessels will feature an all-new, lightweight, low-resistance hull form, specifically designed and optimized for electric-power propulsion. Austal notes that it can provide operators with a fully customized design and ‘turnkey’ solution, considering passenger numbers, vessel schedules and charging infrastructure.

Austal CEO Paddy Gregg commented, “For any high-speed vessel and even more so for electric-powered ferries, optimizing vessel weight and performance is essential – driving not just operating costs, but the size and up-front purchase cost of the batteries and the charging system. With Austal’s unique Volta series of custom-designed and -built vessels, customers may achieve a lower total cost of ownership without compromising on performance or capability. Operators can reliably and profitably sail on schedule all day, every day.”

The Passenger Express 46V has a capacity of 450 passengers, a maximum speed of 25kts and fast charging capability, with a range of over 175 nautical miles per day. Austal plans to expand the Volta series through the development of additional models for both commercial and defense applications, including autonomous vessels.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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