Leclanché has announced that Ellen, the world’s largest all-electric ferry, for which it provided a 4.3MWh customised lithium-ion battery system, has made its first commercial voyage. This is a key application area for the company, with an estimated 50MWh of orders for marine applications contracted for delivery in FY19 and FY20. Our estimates remain under review until there is greater visibility on when different phases of the St Kitt’s battery energy storage project are scheduled to complete.
Transportation accounts for 24% of all greenhouse gases emitted in the EU (Source: European Academies' Science Advisory Council), so European ferry operators are shifting from diesel engines to electric propulsion as part of the push to decarbonise transport and prevent global warming. In addition, the International Maritime Organisation has designated both the Baltic and the North Sea as areas where ships constructed from January 2021 onwards must conform with strict nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions standards. Ellen meets both these objectives, preventing the release of 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide and 42 tonnes of NOx over the course of a year. The vessel’s construction was funded by the European Horizon 2020 initiative with the objective of demonstrating that a 100% electric, emission free ferry carrying passengers, cars, trucks and cargo, can meet the transportation needs of island communities, coastal zones and inland waterways. Ellen will connect islands in Danish part of the Baltic with the mainland.
Leclanché was selected to provide the battery system for Ellen because its highenergy G-NMC lithium-ion cells have unique safety features including a bi-cellular laminated design and ceramic separators. This makes the cells resistant to thermal failure and mechanical damage. In addition, the battery cells are manufactured using an environmentally friendly solvent-free process. The batteries are able to charge quickly while the vessel is in port between trips, while providing the capacity needed for medium-length (c 12 miles) connections.