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Fully-electric ferry set to operate in Danish waters from July

A fully-electric ferry Ellen E-ferry is set to enter passenger operations in Danish waters at the beginning of July, following a baptising ceremony on 1 June.

Claimed to be the world’s most powerful fully-electric ferry, the Ellen E-ferry will cover a 22-nautical mile crossing between the Danish islands of Ærø and Fynshav, and travel seven times further than any other electric ferry currently in operation anywhere in the world.

The Ellen E-ferry will travel at speeds between 13-15.5 knots and it is capable of carrying 198 passengers in summer months, with this capacity dropping to 147 during the winter. The ferry can also carry 31 cars or five trucks on its open deck. The vessel has the largest battery pack currently installed for maritime use and it is also the first electric ferry to have no emergency back-up generator on board.

Danfoss Editron, a division of Danfoss, has supplied the full-electric drivetrain powering the ferry to operator Ærø Kommune. The company’s EDITRON system comprises two propulsion motors and two thruster motors.

As well as the electric drivetrain, Danfoss Editron also provided the vessel’s power management system for the complete onboard automated power and load control. Additionally, the company delivered the onshore charging station and charging arm for the ferry’s 4.3 megawatt battery.

Kim Fausing, ceo of Danfoss, commented: "Ellen is an excellent example of the future for electric transport: cleaner, greener and more efficient. It is a great project which demonstrates the potential for electric ferries to end users and the industry itself. Electrification is key for Danfoss’ success in the future. We will electrify complex machinery, achieving not only reductions in CO2 and other emissions but also improving the productivity and efficiency of such machines.”


The project is supported by the European Commission’s EUR80bn ($90bn) research and innovation Horizon 2020 initiative and represents a major milestone in bringing emission-free technology to the marine sector.

Kimmo Rauma, vice president of Danfoss Editron, said: "It is well known that the global marine industry is a major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions. Maritime transport currently emits over 900 million tonnes of CO2 annually and is responsible for about 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

“We want to help change the world by easing pollution and we believe that industries such as the marine sector can lead the way. With a powerful Danfoss Editron system running it, the Ellen E-ferry will strengthen our already strong position as a world leader in the development and delivery of world-class electric ferries. It is anticipated that the ferry will save 2,000 tonnes of CO2 every year once operational.”

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