New KiwiRail ferries: Batteries will power 30% of the 3-hour journey.

May 27, 2022

KiwiRail has selected Siemens Energy to supply the integrated Electric Propulsion System (EPS) for Interislander’s new rail-enabled, more environmentally-friendly ferries.

The EPS includes the alternators, switchboards, batteries, azimuth thrusters, power and battery management systems and integrated alarm system. In addition, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard and Siemens Energy entered into a contract to design, supply, install, and commission the EPS for the two new Interislander ferries.

Selecting Siemens Energy as the maker for the EPS is another step towards the 40 per cent reduction in emissions that the new fleet will bring to Interislander operations and KiwiRail’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The hybrid technology selected to drive the new ferries will use electrical propulsion from generators fuelled by diesel and batteries recharged by electrical shore power.

Batteries will power 30% of the 3-hour journey. Under normal conditions the ferries will be operating on batteries only while manoeuvring and in port, using a combination of battery and shore power. Any surplus energy produced by the generators during sailing can also be battery stored.

The selected propulsion system uses pods.