Zodiac Milpro’s naval architecture and engineering consultancy, Vectis Marine Design, continues to develop its electric
propulsion capability and experience for high-speed craft and small ferries.
With Zodiac, Vectis is working on projects to implement electric propulsion in Milpro RIBs and inflatables. The main challenge for
this small craft is the weight and size of the Lithium-Ion batteries that are needed, but there is a lot of work ongoing to
develop new battery technologies with higher power densities that will benefit these crafts. Vectis also continues to assess
hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell technologies and their applicability to Milpro craft.
Because of their generally short regular crossings, ferries are ideally suited to electric propulsion and can readily carry the
weight of the batteries. Vectis is acting as a technical consultant to Cumbria County Council in the UK on a project to replace the
Lake Windermere car ferry with a new fully electric ferry. We are currently preparing the technical specification so the Council
can go out to tender for the detailed design and build. The fact that Lake Windermere is land-locked with no shipyard facilities
means that the new ferry must be delivered to the lake in units by truck and assembled on the lakeside before launch making
the project even more challenging. It is an exciting project as the new Windermere ferry is expected to be the first fully electric
ferry of any size in the UK.
Vectis has also been selected by Shannon Ferries in southwest Ireland to assess the feasibility of converting their two large
diesel-powered car ferries to electric or hybrid propulsion. There is increasing determination amongst ferry operators to reduce
their emissions of CO 2 and other pollutants, and we are delighted to have been selected by Shannon Ferries to support them.
The ferries cross a two-mile-wide part of the River Shannon between the city of Limerick and the Atlantic Ocean.