UK firm behind electric ferry set for China
British designers hope to have a fully electric and partly solar powered ferry operational by this time next year.
Southampton based BMT Nigel Gee, a subsidiary of BMT Group, has won the order for the design of a £25M all electric 150 passenger ferry for the Chinese market.
BMT Nigel Gee, based in Southampton, is one of the world's largest independent design consultancies and specialists in ships and boats.
The company will have to show how a battery powered ferry will work in the estuarial and coastal waters of China where shipping offers a realistically viable alternative to land-based transport.
BMT says the design will use a catamaran hull with VRB batteries providing the power to electric drive motors - giving a top speed of about ten knot.
Solar cells will also be used on the roof to top up the batteries while the vessel is in use.
BMT Nigel Gee, technical director, Ed Dudson said: "This design has been an interesting challenge as we needed to balance the weight of the batteries against the vessel performance in order to ensure that a practical ferry service can be provided.
"Winning this contract further strengthens our commitment to developing innovative solutions for customers around the world, helping them to overcome their unique design challenges."