The first ferry in Denmark to be fully powered by electricity has now entered service, making it the first in the country without a diesel engine on board. The Ellen sailed between the ports of Søby and Fynshav in the south of Denmark on its maiden voyage, connecting the islands of Ærø and Als.
It is powered by a battery system with a capacity of 4.3 megawatt hours, and does not emit environmentally-harmful substances during operation. However, this requires that the electricity charged is produced as green energy. The project sought to work with electricity utilities and wind energy producers to ensure that the charged electricity does not harm the environment. It says that the ferry's emissions will be reduced by 2000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, 2.5 tonnes of particulates and 1.4 tonnes of sulfur dioxide per year.
The e-ferry took two years to construct at the shipyard in Søby, and it was built through a partnership between Ærø Municipality and the European Union. The Ellen can sail approximately 40.7km between charges, giving it a range that is seven times longer than any other fully electric car ferry. The distance between Søby and Fynshav is 17.2km miles, and it's 15.2km between Søby and Fåborg. This means that it is capable of making a round-trip between the destinations and returning to the charging station in Søby to get topped up again.
The Ellen is capable of carrying around 30 vehicles and 200 passengers and is expected to complete five to seven roundtrips daily. For further information, please see here.