Austal’s VOLTA™ series

Austal Australia introduces VOLTA series of electric-powered high-speed ferries

Austal Australia has launched the VOLTA series of electric-powered high speed ferry solutions, with the introduction of the Passenger Express 46V, a fully electric-powered 46 metre catamaran ferry design.

Austal’s VOLTA™ series; Image by Austal

Austal’s new VOLTA series includes on-shore charging infrastructure and in-service support programs for operators.

The vessels combine light-weight, low-resistance hull forms, specifically designed, tested and optimised for electric-power propulsion, with state-of-the-art lithium ion batteries, Austal said.

Austal Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said the new VOLTA series of high speed ferries represent the future of commercial maritime transport, offering operators a cost-effective electric-powered vessel; capable of zero emissions.

“For any high speed vessel and even more so for electric-powered ferries, optimising vessel weight and performance is essential – driving not just operating costs, but the size and upfront purchase cost of the batteries and the charging system.

“With Austal’s unique VOLTA series of custom designed and built vessels, customers may achieve a lower total cost of ownership without compromising on performance or capability,” Gregg said.

The first of class, 46 metre ‘Passenger Express 46V’ has the capacity for up to 450 passengers, a maximum speed of 25 knots and fast charging capability, with a range of over 175 nautical miles per day.

Austal plans to expand the VOLTA series through the development of additional models for both commercial and defence applications, including autonomous vessels; and continue research and development into emerging propulsion technology.


  • Length overall – 46 metres
  • Beam – 12.3 metres
  • Draft < 2 metres


  • 2 x Full electric, permanent magnet motors
  • 2 x FPP, or CPP propellers (Waterjet or Azimuth also available)


  • Full redundancy with 2 Lithium battery banks (one in each hull)
  • Minimum battery life of 7 years


  • Passengers – 400 to 450
  • Bicycles – 10
  • Crew – 3


  • Operating speed – 20kts
  • Maximum speed – 25+kts
  • Maximum range per day >175 nm per day with 20% reserve