With half a million plug-in electric cars on the roads, electric propulsion is slowly spreading into other types of transportation, including electric boats. Stockholm ferry operator Ballerina has introduced a new, electrically propelled passenger ferry built with composites that runs smoothly, comfortably and with none of the noise that accompanies combustion-engine vessels.

Silent, clean and cost-effective operations are now key priorities for the marine transportation industry. Driven by ever-tighter environmental regulations, the civil marine industry aims to reduce both emissions and noise nuisance while increasing efficiency through new approaches like electric propulsion.

This vessel was developed, designed and produced by Faaborg Vaerft together with Principia North A/S and Wilhelmsen Technical Solution and built with DIAB’s Divinycell H. Sandwich composites were used mainly for the hull, topsides and wheelhouse. M/S Sjovagen is ice-reinforced, equipped with a double propeller system, 2 x 160 kW electrical engines for propulsion, 500 kWh battery bank, electrohydraulic steering system, electrical bow thruster and communication and navigation equipment.

Ballerina’s first battery-powered boat, the M/S Sjovagen, carries up to 150 people, 15 bikes, eight strollers and six wheelchairs between 10 stops on a 50-minute route of the waterways of Stockholm. It operates throughout the year, completing eight round trips per day. The batteries are fully charged during the ferry’s overnight stay in the harbor with two partial charging sessions during the course of the day.