Volvo Penta, ABB and Chalmers to study fast charging in marine applications

Volvo Penta, ABB and Chalmers to study fast charging in marine applications
The feasibility study will assess if electric charging technology used on Volvo Buses’ electric bus routes could be adapted for marine applications

Volvo Penta, ABB, and Chalmers University of Technology will conduct a feasibility study to see whether electric charging technology currently used on Volvo buses could be applied to marine applications.

Upon completion of the feasibility study, it is envisaged that the fast charging technology will be incorporated into Gothenburg’s Marine Demo Arena and become part of the ElectriCity public transport network.

“While all-electric boating remains in its infancy, for this exciting new transport system to be a success and grow, a network of fast charging stations needs to be developed,” stated Niklas Thulin, director electromobility, Volvo Penta. “Identifying the more promising solutions will be the challenge of the one-year project, which is being partly funded by the Swedish Energy Agency.”

Safety of the equipment for both operators and passengers will be a high priority of the project due to the combination of high currents and saltwater. While the project is only at the inception stage, it has a clear ambition that the final technology adopted will be open source, helping to speed up the adoption of electromobility globally.

“We believe we can leverage proven technology from the Volvo Group to develop hybrid & electric solutions onboard,” continued Mr Thulin. “But the need for infrastructure, standards, and regulations are critical to accelerate this shift. The commercial boat owner or vessel operator of the future will need to be able to charge in a similar way from city-to-city or harbour-to-harbour. This charging infrastructure could also be shared with on-road applications, for example electric buses using the same fast charging solution as electric ferries. Based on the existing knowledge of charging infrastructure within the Volvo Group, we aim to be a leading voice in setting the scene for this transformational shift.”

“ABB is committed to running the world without consuming the Earth, and to further enhancing energy efficiency and emission reduction for shipping with electric, digital and connected technologies,” commented Jörgen Karlsson, head of sales, ABB Marine Sweden. “

“Chalmers has a strong background in electric power engineering and is already involved in the development of different charging technologies for land vehicles, together with our industrial partners,” added Yujing Liu, professor and head of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics at Chalmers University of Technology. “In this collaboration project, we will review all feasible solutions and identify the technology path towards the first installation of marine applications in the ElectriCity demo arena and future scale-up. The potential to utilise emerging technologies such as automatic docking and wireless power transfer will be investigated.”