Austal Australia launched the VOLTA series of electric-powered high speed ferry solutions, with the introduction of the Passenger Express 46V, a fully electric-powered 46-meter catamaran ferry design.
The VOLTA series is distinct in the burgeoning market for electric vessels as it offers a completely integrated design, construction and support solution, including on-shore charging infrastructure and in-service support programs for operators.
The series combines a light-weight, low-resistance hull forms, specifically designed, tested and optimized for electric-power propulsion, with the latest in lithium ion batteries.
“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 upfront purchase cost of the batteries and the charging system," said Paddy Gregg, CEO, Austal. “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."
In development for the past two years, the first of class, 46-meter Passenger Express 46V is a high speed passenger ferry, designed to provide an environmentally friendly, economical vessel for metropolitan, inland waterway commuter ferry services.
Boasting a capacity of up to 450 passengers, a maximum speed of 25 knots and fast charging capability, with a range of over 175 nautical miles per day, the Passenger Express 46V highlights the real advantages of the VOLTA design technology.
The vessel features a natural, light filled interior enabled by large, panoramic windows and generous skylights, positioned along the entire length of the cabin. Double automatic-sliding external doors provide direct, easy access to the passenger deck for fast passenger turnarounds that match or better the succinct battery-charging times offered by the fully integrated, shore-based battery charging infrastructure.
Austal said it plans to expand the VOLTA series through the development of additional models for both commercial and defense applications, including autonomous vessels.
Passenger Express 46V
Length overall: 46 meters
Beam: 12.3 meters
Draft: < 2 meters
2 x Full electric, permanent magnet motors
2 x FPP, or CPP propellers (Waterjet or Azimuth also available)
Full redundancy with two lithium battery banks (one in each hull)
Minimum battery life of 7 years
Payload and Capacities
Passengers: 400 to 450
Operating speed: 20 kts
Maximum speed: 25+ kts
Maximum range per day: >175 nm per day with 20% reserve