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Boundary Layer Technologies reveals ELECTRA all-electric hydrofoiling ferry concept

Boundary Layer Technologies, a California-based marine technology startup, revealed its concept design for a fully electric hydrofoiling ferry: ELECTRA. ELECTRA, with a 9,000 kWh battery, has a range of up to 100 nautical miles and cruise speed of 40 knots—twice the speed and range of existing electric ferries—due to Boundary Layer Technology’s proprietary hydrofoil technology and podded propulsion system.


Compared to fossil fuel alternatives, ELECTRA’s battery-electric propulsion significantly reduces cabin noise by up to 20dB compared to conventional ferries. It’s foiling system also offers excellent seakeeping and ride comfort.

Hydrofoil technology is the key to enabling electrification of passenger ferries. By reducing the drag of the vessel by a factor of two, the powering requirements are also halved, which increases the speed and range of what an electric ferry can do. This opens the door to electrification of the majority of ferry routes across the world.

—Ed Kearney, CEO of Boundary Layer Technologies

The ELECTRA ferry offers OPEX reductions of up to 35% compared to fossil fuel burning fast ferry alternatives, as well as helps operators de-risk the future cost uncertainties of carbon taxes and emissions trading schemes being implemented globally.

We think Electra is an exciting development of ferry technology and shows promise for decarbonizing ferry operations and adding to the customer’s experience.

—Patrick Murphy, President, Blue & Gold Fleet, contract operator of San Francisco’s 15 high speed ferries

Boundary Layer Technologies has already developed the hydrofoil and control systems required for ELECTRA, and plans to have the first vessels in operation by Q1 2024 in regions such as the United States, Scandinavia, and the Mediterranean.



Looks good.
I assume you can size the battery to the expected route lengths (up to 9MW).
Q: I wonder how long it will take to recharge a 9000 kWh battery - that is some battery, IMO.
Even if you had a 1 MW charger, it would take 9 hours to recharge fully.
IMO, what you want is a 30-60 minute turnaround and so this sets the charge time.
Might be better using a hybrid approach, using the battery near ports and a diesel or turbine generator for the long bits in the middle.
Also, what sea states can it operate in ?
Looks very calm in the videos.

Account Deleted

Good question Mahonj:
Recharging time will be long, so maybe swappable batteries, still difficult for ferries since the batteries are below deck. However, most ferry rides are very short so you would limit the number of trips per day per ferry.
What is great about this ferry is this.
Compared to fossil fuel alternatives, ELECTRA’s battery-electric propulsion significantly reduces cabin noise by up to 20dB compared to conventional ferries.
My only ride on a hydrofoil ferry was a short ride from Capri to Sorrento (9 miles). Made the mistake to sit by the engine in the back, almost went deaf. The ELECTRA could make 10 of these trips, so one shift per ferry and a 15 hour recharge.

Account Deleted

Check out the video about this Electric Ferry:


It's not clear but I imagine they might be using the SWATH (Small Water Area Twin Hulls) concept to some extent allowing lower more economical speeds.


Well I guess not.

Tim Jonson

There are probably a lot of places that have short routes and no night time service. So these ferries could be partially charged between trips and fully charged late at night. The main cost of shipping is in fuel, like aviation. So you other commenters should realize what a huge profit margin this vessel has on paper. Like electric aviation, this is definitely coming.

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