The Taiwanese harbor city of Kaohsiung has launched a new hybrid electric ferry. The Cijian Island passenger ferry is retrofitted with a Visedo electric propulsion system, replacing the original diesel engine. It heralds Asia’s first hybrid electric ferry and, if successful, the Kaohsiung City Government plans to retrofit the rest of its diesel fleet to help reduce pollution levels around Taiwan’s largest harbor.
Visedo OY, a leading Finnish manufacturer of electric drivetrains for marine vessels, commercial vehicles and heavy duty applications, worked alongside Taiwan’s Ship and Ocean Industries R&D Center (SOIC) to complete the retrofit.
Given the geography, ferries are a vital mode of public transport across East and Southeast Asia but they are also the most energy intensive per kilometer travelled. Until now, diesel ferries have been a dirty but necessary part of life around harbours like Kaohsiung. In Hong Kong for example, passenger ferries make up the majority of licensed vessels in Victoria Harbour, where it’s estimated air pollution kills about 3,200 people every year.
Visedo has developed a cost-effective and efficient alternative, so rather than waiting until a vessel’s service life ends, harbor cities can swap noisy, dirty and expensive diesel for silent electric powertrains that are more efficient, can halve fuel costs and emit no fumes or oil pollution.—Visedo CEO Kimmo Rauma
Kaohsiung’s new e-ferry, Ferry Happiness, will halve daily fuel consumption while transporting 15,000 passengers every day to Cijian Island, a popular tourist destination in Taiwan, at a top speed of nine knots.
Launching from berth every 15 minutes, the ferry will help share the eight million passengers who travel the 650m route every year. It’s estimated the electric propulsion will save more than 25,000 liters of fuel every year.
Visedo retrofitted the 100-tonne, 23m-long vessel with an electric system to replace the original 300HP diesel engine. The powertrain was designed to ensure pure electric cruising for half the ferry’s operation time and, with fast shore charging, this pure electric percentage can be higher.
Founded in 2009, Visedo is a Finnish company specializing in electric powertrains and components for the marine industry, commercial vehicles and heavy-duty machinery. Its powertrains are suitable for hybrid and electric systems within the power range of 30-2,000kW. Visedo’s head office is located in Lappeenranta, Finland, and the company has a subsidiary in the Netherlands. Visedo has a broad, international client base, with exports to Europe and Asia representing 90% of its sales.
The company also recently announced that it was powering the new all-electric bus, manufactured by Linkker, that has entered into service in Helsinki, Finland. Tests demonstrated that the Visedo-powered e-buses consume less than 0.7 kWh per kilometer. This also makes them much more cost-effective as well as requiring less maintenance and offering longer lifespans than diesel buses.