SPECIFICATION: LENGTH WIDTH BATTERY CAPACITY CAPACITY SPEED 75M 14,4M 1 KWH 60 CARS 7-8 KNOTS DELIVERY 2024 PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES Interview with Erik Froste - CEO of Färjerederiet A green future, lower costs, and better service; the reasons why the Swedish transport authority Trafikverket chose electrically powered, autonomous ferries are diverse. But, so are the challenges Trafikverket and Holland Shipyards Group face. ‘They take the risk to push the limits of what is possible.’ Anyone who thinks the Netherlands is pre-eminently a land of water has never been to Sweden. The capital city, Stockholm, lies between an archipelago of as many as 24,000 islands on the east coast and Lake Mälaren, a lake that winds 120 kilometres through the country. Ferries are, therefore, a dire necessity in Sweden. Every year, 20 million people use the 70 free ferries at 45 locations across Sweden. ‘The ferries are like a bridge for residents,’ says Erik Froste. ‘Even those who don’t live on an island use them. Many Swedes take a ferry for a day trip to the beach in summer. Ferries are then used twice as much as in winter.’ Froste is CEO of Färjerederiet, the unit within Trafikverket responsible for all ferry lines in Sweden. He will also lead Färjerederiet into the future; from 2045, there will be no place for ferries that emit CO2. 10 ‘In this respect, we are opting for electric propulsion. Due to the low sailing speed, 7 to 8 knots, and short distances, rarely more than 2 kilometres, electric sailing is the cheapest option. And because we are a government agency, we can invest in the long term and therefore in charging stations.’ THE FUTURE IS AUTONOMOUS Eight of the 70 ferries are already electrically powered. Two new electric ferries are under construction at Holland Shipyards Group. They are sizeable ferries, different from what we are used to in the Netherlands when crossing a river. The ferries are 75 metres long and 14.4 metres wide and can ferry up to 60 cars. The engine has an output of 700 kW and a battery capacity of 1 MhW. It’s sufficient for two return trips and can recharge at a rate of 3 MW.

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