The Taiwanese harbor city of Kaohsiung has launched a new hybrid ferry. Visedo OY, a Finnish manufacturer of electric drivetrains for marine vessels and other heavy-duty applications, worked alongside Taiwan’s Ship and Ocean Industries R&D Center (SOIC) to retrofit the 100-ton, 23-meter-long passenger ferry with a Visedo electric propulsion system, replacing the original 300 hp diesel engine.
The new e-ferry, which serves Cijian Island, a popular tourist destination, will halve daily fuel consumption, saving an estimated 25,000 liters of fuel every year. If results are satisfactory, the Kaohsiung City Government plans to retrofit all 11 of its diesel vessels to help reduce pollution levels around Taiwan’s largest harbor.
“Ferries are a vital mode of public transport across East and Southeast Asia, but they are also the most energy-intensive per kilometer travelled,” said Visedo CEO Kimmo Rauma. “Until now, diesel ferries have been a dirty but necessary part of life around harbours like Kaohsiung. In Hong Kong for example, passenger ferries make up the majority of licensed vessels in Victoria Harbour, where it’s estimated air pollution kills about 3,200 people every year.”
“Visedo has developed a cost-effective and efficient alternative, so rather than waiting until a vessel’s service life ends, harbor cities can swap noisy, dirty and expensive diesel for silent electric powertrains that are more efficient, can halve fuel costs and emit no fumes or oil pollution,” says Rauma.
Visedo is also powering a new electric bus, manufactured by Linkker, that has gone into service in Helsinki. Tests demonstrated that the Visedo-powered e-buses consume less than 0.7 kWh per kilometer.