BMT has announced the launch of a striking new hybrid ferry design which could pave the way for a cleaner, more cost-efficient energy option for ferry operators. At 31m, the 149-passenger ‘Eco Ferry’ has a top speed of 20 knots and offers an unrivalled, intelligent hybrid system delivering smooth, silent and vibration-free power.
John Bonafoux, Managing Director at BMT explains: “Greener ferry systems have to be the future and we’re extremely excited to be launching this new hybrid design. In our recent case study of an example river commute in New York, the ‘Eco Ferry’ engines are completely off for 63% of the time. That’s a huge saving on fuel consumption and emissions, not to mention engine hours and maintenance.”
BMT has a proud heritage of designing highly efficient catamaran hulls, with ferries operating in New York, Washington, London and Amsterdam, to name just a few. With recent hybrid experience gained in several superyacht projects, BMT has combined this expertise with its proficiency in efficient hull form design to produce this latest green offering.
Working in collaboration with BAE Systems, the Eco Ferry uses the ‘Hybrid-Drive’ system. When the upper end of power is needed, the diesel engines are there to support, keeping the batteries topped up at the same time – all of this happening seamlessly and automatically. The vessel’s 160kWh ESS (energy storage system) can also be further charged whilst alongside and by a solar array on the vessel roof.
Bonafoux adds: “It’s an all-round, nicer experience for passengers. The Eco-ferry glides in and out of dock silently and smoke free, completely under electric power. No longer will there be noise and diesel fumes at the dock as passengers embark and disembark.”