Battery systems for the world’s largest fleet of electric ferries
Echandia has signed an agreement with Siemens for 23 modern electric ferries for the South Indian city of Kochi’s public transport. The project comprises a total of 78 zero-emission vessels, which is the world’s largest fleet of electric ferries. The initial 23 ferries will connect the city and its ten islands via 38 different terminals. Echandia’s expertise in battery technology was decisive.
Swedish energy systems supplier Echandia has landed the battery contract for the world’s largest fleet of electric ferries, and India’s first water metro service. The 24m ferries will be fast-charged at regular intervals, providing uninterrupted service. Echandia’s E-LTO battery system was the only qualifying battery system, reinforcing Echandia’s leading position in the high-power battery segment. Echandia manufactures proprietary energy systems for high-power, zero-emission transport, including ferries, trains, and wind farms, at its facilities in Stockholm. The company currently focuses on LTO batteries and is developing a market-leading hybrid battery/fuel-cell system for large ships.
In June 2020, Siemens won the tender to supply the electric propulsion systems to the Kochi water metro project. Kochi’s water metro consists of 78 modern, zero-emission, hybrid-electric ferries running on sixteen identified routes, connecting 10 islands via 38 different terminals. During the first phase of the project, Cochin Shipyard Limited will deliver 23 100-pax ferries. The 24m ferries will be fast charged, at regular intervals, providing uninterrupted service.
“This has been and will continue to be very exciting to work with. The project is the first water transport system in India to integrate with the metro. It is widely expected to revolutionize water transportation. This will support the country’s efforts to reduce its emissions and carbon footprint, changing the lives of the 100,000 people living in the Kochi area. The project offers an inclusive approach to public transport and will also greatly benefit the tourism industry of the area”, says Echandia’s CEO and founder, Magnus Eriksson. “We decided early on to use LTO batteries because of their safety profile, their charging capacity and their expected lifespan in relation to their cost. Thus, Echandia was the only choice, because their LTO battery systems are the most advanced and they are the only company with DNV-GL certification”, states Sajan P John, General Manager (Marine), Kochi Metro Rail Limited.
LTO battery chemistry was mandated at an early stage of the project, due to its safety, longevity, and high-charging capabilities. LTO is the safest maritime battery chemistry – resilient to external heat and other abuse, preventing thermal runaways. It does not form dendrite like other lithium-ion chemistries, avoiding short circuits and increasing battery safety over time. E-LTO requires no active measures for water cooling or fire suppression. Propagation of thermal runaway between the Toshiba cells is almost impossible. E-LTO-batteries are completely air-cooled, which is an easy, safe, and robust system. There have been several recent incidents with water-cooled batteries – a situation totally avoided using Echandia Marine’s E-LTO systems.