A virtual platform for optimization of transport and charging infrastructure of electrifying waterways
Research Project, 2022 – 2024

The daily commute between Gothenburg Archipelago and the mainland strongly depends on the waterborne transport composed of 6 ferries running in a daily basis. Within the Archipelago, large air emissions along the west coast and the Göta river with high densely population lead to significantly detrimental impacts on our living environment, nature and personal health. Swedish government and Västtrafik AB have set clear goals to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by 70% in 2030, and further down to zero by 2045. As the rapid development in the battery manufacture and management systems, electric ships become feasible for maritime transport to achieve climate goals. Furthermore, an electric ship’s maintenance costs are less, and electric motors can work for 3 times longer than combustion engines with improved propulsion efficiency, reduced sound noise levels and increased potential for shipping automation.  However, to electrify waterways also faces great challenge in transport planning, ship power performance and battery charging facilities, etc. For example, the southern Gothenburg archipelago fleet includes 5 ferries of 5145 KW power, which is equivalent to the power needed by more than 1000 Swedish houses. Fast battery charging systems for ships require very high voltage and large current than cars and busses (e.g., 1KV and 1 MW for the “Amphere” electric ferry in Norway or 10 KV and 10MW for the “Aurora AF Helsingborg” electric ferry in Sweden). Moreover, those ferries are configured with 3-5 different engines, two service speeds, and more than 17 stops. The complex interaction between ship-specific, power-specific, speed-specific and transport demand specific parameters makes it difficult to electrifying waterways with optimized transport planning, onboard power management, battery charging infrastructure, and daily ship navigation, as well as passengers’ commute needs.

Therefore, the objective of this project is to build a virtual cost-benefit platform that can simulate the multi-interaction among the ferries’ transport planning, battery charge/consumption within different leg of the transport planning, and the ship’s maneuvering and propulsion energy consumption, in terms of various charging infrastructure planning. Based on this virtual platform, the feasibility of successful electrifying the ferries of various design scenarios could be determined by the cost-benefit analysis results.


Wengang Mao (contact)

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Marine Technology

Yujing Liu

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Electric Power Engineering

Jonas Ringsberg

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Marine Technology


AoA Transport Funds

Funding Chalmers participation during 2022–2023

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