Siemens Worldwide

Pictures of the Future



Mr. Sebastian Webel
Mr. Sebastian Webel


Mobile: +49 172-7169762

Werner-von-Siemens-Straße 1
80333 Munich

Pictures of the Future
The Magazine for Research and Innovation

Electric Mobility

Green Solutions for Shipbuilding

MF Ampere: The fully electric ferry operates across the six kilometer long route E39, between Lavik and Oppedal, north of Bergen in Norway. It travels the fjord 34 times a day, with each trip taking around 20 minutes.

Scandinavia is the first region in the world to rely increasingly on battery-powered and thus environmentally-friendly technologies in the shipbuilding industry. Especially Norway: By using ferries with pure electric or hybrid propulsion, the country is taking a major step towards achieving the Norwegian government’s declared goal of reducing the country’s carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent. Siemens technology is contributing to this effort.

Norway is considered the world over as a leader in the generation and use of renewable energy. The country generates 95 percent of its electricity from hydro power.Therefore, it is not surprising that Norway also increasingly relies on electric propulsion for its ferries. Siemens was the supplier of the electric propulsion technology for the world’s first fully electric car ferry, the MF Ampere. In a follow-up order,

Ferries with Siemens inside: Scandinavia is the first region in the world to rely increasingly on battery-powered and thus environmentally-friendly technologies in the shipbuilding industry.

Siemens will equip four car ferries with hybrid drive. Two of them will be delivered to Fosen Namsos Sjø AS and will work the 7.2-kilometer route between Flakk and Rørvik on Norway’s west coast. The two car ferries each have loading capacity for 130 cars, and space for 390 passengers. They are due to go into service in 2019.

Proven technology

For both the new ferries, Siemens will be deploying its proven BlueDrive PlusC technology. The electric power and propulsion solution includes the remote connection and monitoring support system EcoMain, remote control system, energy management system, as well as the electric motor, switchgear and generators. The integrated control and automation system is for ferries and the shore based charging stations, where the ferries and shore are to be monitored and controlled with a WiFi solution. Use of the ship management system EcoMain allows ship operations to be optimized, also using remote access. The EcoMain gathers data relating to the ship’s technical systems through different interfaces on board, processes it in a standard format and makes it available on a common data platform.  

In Scandinavia more and more ship builder rely on battery-powered and thus environmentally-friendly electric propulsion systems for ships. After "Ampere", the world's first electrical ferry in Norway, Siemens build a follow-up for the Finnish shipping company FinFerries.

Energy consumption, emissions, bunkering fluids, service schedules, documentation and information management are just some of the processes that can be analyzed and used to optimize fuel efficiency, environmental compatibility and maintenance cycles. The BlueDrive PlusC technology used was developed in Trondheim in Norway, and is based on solutions developed for use in offshore vessels and specialized commercial vessels. This means that the systems have been successfully tested and proven under the harshest of conditions. At the heart of the BlueDrive PlusC electric propulsion system is the power electronic technology which allows the ferries to operate on pure battery operation or together with diesel- or gas engines at fixed speed or variable speed. This allows the diesel motors to supply their maximum power at any load-dependent number of revolutions per minute. The BlueDrive PlusC propulsion system also uses an Integrated Drive System (IDS) in which the motors and frequency converters are coordinated to ensure more economical and efficient ship operation.

Up to 100 percent “clean”

The new ferries may claim impressive green credentials for two reasons:

Firstly, emissions, vibrations and noise are completely eliminated during the pure electrical mode, which means that the drive saves the environment. Furthermore, the electricity they use is climate-neutral due to the fact that Norway generates 100 percent of its electric power from renewable energy sources. This means that no greenhouse gases are created in the generation of electrical energy. With this positive eco balance, the new ferries are making a significant contribution towards achieving the Norwegian Government’s pledge to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) by 40 percent.

Maria Bluecher