VESSEL REVIEW | Zurich – Electric ferry begins commuter service in Switzerland’s Limmat River

Photo: Ostseestaal
Photo: Ostseestaal

German shipbuilder Ostseestaal and its subsidiary Ampereship have delivered the first vessel in a series of three all-electric passenger ferries ordered by Swiss inland transport operator Zurichsee-Schifffahrtsgesellschaft (ZSG). The new ferries will replace three diesel-powered vessels that were in operation on Zurich's Limmat River for over 30 years.

The newbuild has a length of 22.5 metres, a beam of 3.8 metres, a draught of only 0.85 metres, and capacity for 61 passengers. A flat-bottom hull design was selected to enable navigation through the more restrictive stretches of the Limmat and to provide the vessel with a clearance of 1.55 metres to safely sail underneath the bridges and other low-hanging structures throughout Switzerland's largest city.

<em>Photo: Ostseestaal</em>
Photo: Ostseestaal

The passenger cabin also has wheelchair access and is air-conditioned to ensure comfortable year-round operation.

The vessel's batteries have a rated total output of 348 kWh. Besides ensuring quieter operation compared to the diesel engines on ZSG's older Limmat ferries, the batteries feature overnight charging using green electricity sourced from the local grid in Zurich as well as via solar panels at ZSG's own quayside facilities.

The batteries supply power to two 55kW motors that are connected to rudder propellers to deliver a maximum speed of 9.1 knots, though sailings will normally be limited to a service speed of 6.4 knots.

In addition to providing commuter services, the new ferry may also be chartered for private events such as family gatherings and corporate activities.

<em>Photo: Ostseestaal</em>
Photo: Ostseestaal
Type of vessel:Ferry
Owner:Zurichsee-Schifffahrtsgesellschaft, Switzerland
Builder:Ostseestaal, Germany; Ampereship, Germany
Length overall:22.5 metres
Beam:3.8 metres
Draught:0.85 metres
Propulsion:2 x rudder propellers
Maximum speed:9.1 knots
Cruising speed:6.4 knots
Batteries:348 kWh
Operational area:Limmat River, Switzerland

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