Photo: Wabtec Corporation

EU-backed vessel electrification project welcomes new partner

American company Wabtec Corporation has joined the HYPOBATT (hyper powered vessel battery charging system) project, which is focused on developing a megawatt-charging standard and infrastructure for ferries in European ports.

The transport sector is responsible for 23 percent of CO₂ emissions and still relies on oil for 92 percent of its energy needs.

Credit: Wabtec Corporation

The HYPOBATT project, which is part of the European Horizon Europe Framework Programme (HORIZON), aims to extend Europe’s technological lead in fast-charging systems for a wide range of ship and vehicle types and to drive forward the transformation of transport here. The project also serves to reduce CO₂ emissions, meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and counteract climate change.

Wabtec will work on advancing the electrification of ships. The company will work in a consortium with 18 partners who are responsible for a 42-month project to identify maritime charging solutions that reduce contact time, wait time, and maintenance cost. 

“Europe has aggressive sustainability targets to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 40% until 2030,” said Olivier Kompaore, Vice President for Industry Product Line at Wabtec.

“This project will help to standardize a modular, fast, and easy multi-megawatt charging system, paving the way for clean, zero-emission and competitive solutions for maritime transportation. Wabtec’s state-of-the-art charging solutions, like FerryCHARGER, will serve as the blueprint for the project.”

The project also will develop a fully automatic and safe electric ship connection system with the capacity to fully charge a vessel’s battery while at the dock.

The consortium is targeting to reduce connection time to less than 30 seconds, charging time by 10 percent, and space dock side for the system by 20 percent. In addition, the project aims to improve charger availability by 95 percent and battery life by 10 percent.

The consortium will demonstrate the technology at the ports of Norddeich and Norderney, Germany.  The testing will be conducted on a vessel of the Reederei Norden-Frisia shipping company.