Incat Tasmania, an Australian producer of high-speed craft (HSC) ferries, is currently in talks to build the world’s first big, lightweight, zero-emission ferry.
The 148-meter (485.5-foot) Utility Ro-Pax ferry was created by Revolution Design and constructed by Incat, and it is propelled by two electric motors (5 - 9.6 MW) hidden inside the hull.
The ship has a maximum range of 100 nautical miles and can transport up to 2,100 passengers and 226 vehicles at up to 25 knots.
It will transport passengers between Argentina and Uruguay by Buquebus, which manages multiple Incat vessels throughout South America.
The ship was originally going to be powered by LNG. Still, Incat and Buquebus changed their minds and decided that switching to zero-emission electric would be best for the environment and its customers.
While there are obstacles to overcome, the ship delivered in 2025 will be the largest, lightest, and only battery-powered ferry sailing on any route in the world.
The introduction of an electric zero-emissions ferry would solidify Incat’s position as the world leader in zero-emissions, lightweight shipping. Incat Tasmania has always been a pioneer, ahead of the technology curve.
Robert Clifford, the founder of Incat Group, discusses how the new electric ferry will transform the industry.
“Zero emissions shipping is the future, and Incat, based in Tasmania, one of the few places on the planet which has already delivered net zero, is now poised to revolutionize the world’s shipping fleet by delivering the world’s first zero emissions, lightweight ship,” Clifford said.
Although switching to electric propulsion necessitates a considerable overhaul, Clifford claims the company would swap out 400 tonnes of batteries for 500 tons of equipment and gasoline tanks to keep its low weight.
Clifford adds that the ship’s weight might be reduced by half if aluminum rather than steel were used in its construction, and adding electric ferries would not increase the cost of the ship in comparison to conventional vessels.
Former Tasmanian Premier and Incat’s Strategic Adviser Peter Gutwein talked about how the delivery of the world’s first large battery electric ferry would open a lot of doors and opportunities in the international market for large lightweight electric ships.
“The world wants large, lightweight zero-emission ships, and we are already scaling up our workforce and production facility in readiness for what will be a significant expansion. It will be a win-win for both the environment and for investment in long-term skilled jobs in Tasmania,” Gutwein concluded.