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Electric Ferry Claims New World Record

Photo: CC BY-SA 4.0/Erik Christensen

An electric ferry may have set a new world record after sailing 50 nautical miles on a single battery charge.

The ferry, named Ellen, typically operates between the islands of Ærø and Als in the south of Denmark—a distance of 22 nautical miles—emitting zero carbon emissions and with 24 percent lower operating costs compared to a typical modern diesel ferry.

The record-breaking voyage was meant to coincide with the International Energy Agency’s 7th Annual Conference on Energy Efficiency taking place earlier this month in Sønderborg, Denmark, from where Ellen departed.

The voyage could become the Guinness World Record holder for the longest sea voyage on a single battery charge.

“The 92 kilometer trip on a single battery charge is the longest planned distance for an electric ferry able to carry both passengers and vehicles to date anywhere on the globe,” said Henrik Hagbarth Mikkelsen, Senior Lecturer at the Marstal Naval Academy in Denmark. “We are talking about a clear record. On its normal, daily trips, the ferry sails 22 nautical miles, or 40 kilometers, from harbor to harbor before recharging.”

Ellen has been operating since 2019. Danfoss Editron supplied the electric drivetrains and propulsion motors for the ferry.

“Ellen is an excellent example of the future for electric transport. It’s cleaner, greener, and more efficient than her fossil fuel competitors,” said Kimmo Rauma, Vice President at Danfoss Editron. “Electrifying maritime transport is a clear-cut way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And Danfoss has the solutions to build new electric ferries and to retrofit existing ones to electrify them with the potential to reduce carbon emissions all over the world.”

Danfoss Editron says it plans to submit the world record to Guinness World Records.

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