Saft, leader in the design, development and manufacture of high-technology batteries for industry, is supplying advanced lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery systems to provide quiet, efficient, low-emission power for two hybrid diesel-electric ferryboats that will operate a shuttle service across the Garonne river in Bordeaux.
Keolis, France’s largest private sector transportation group, will launch the new hybrid ferry service in 2012 to help the Urban Community of Bordeaux (CUB) move towards greener transportation methods that will enable the port city in southwest France to meet its stringent environmental targets. The river shuttle service is expected to carry around 200,000 passengers and their bicycles a year. Each hybrid ferryboat will be equipped with a 140 kWh Saft Li-ion battery system that will supply power both for its electric propulsion motor and auxiliary loads such as lighting and communications. The battery will work in conjunction with the boat’s diesel engine, storing power produced by the generator as well as providing additional propulsion power when required. The batteries will be charged overnight from the local grid and during the diesel propulsion phase. Their excellent energy storage capability will provide the boats with six hours of autonomous, fully-electric operation during the two busiest periods of the day – three hours in the morning and three hours in the evening – helping to both reduce fuel costs and CO2 and NOx emissions. ‘This project for the Garonne river shuttle service is an important early success in Saft’s new initiative focused on achieving substantial growth in the marine propulsion market based on our well developed Li-ion technology’ says Bertrand d’Hautefeuille, Saft’s Sales Director for Marine activities. ‘It is especially pleasing that one of the first applications for a hybrid boat battery system developed and manufactured at our facility in Bordeaux will be of major benefit to the local community.’ Saft has a wealth of experience in the public transport industry (metro, tramway, electric shuttle ferry) as a supplier of battery systems for emergency back-up and traction. Saft nickel-based batteries are also already providing propulsion power for zero-emission electric shuttle ferry services in La Rochelle and on Paris’ Saint-Denis canal.The use of Li-ion battery technology for ship and boat propulsion applications is therefore a natural progression for Saft.
Li-ion technology advantages
Li-ion battery technology offers a number of key advantages in applications such as the Garonne river shuttle service including its capability to ensure high-power and/or energy storage in a compact space and weight-saving package, fast-charging, high-efficiency and a long calendar and cycle life (up to a million charge/discharge cycles) as well as being completely maintenance-