Incat Crowther said the design is well underway for the first all-electric passenger ferries for operation in Singapore.

The Incat Crowther e28s, designated Electric Dream by the project partners, will carry passengers between mainland Singapore and Shell’s facility on the island of Bukom, replacing the conventional diesel-powered ferries currently used.

“Shipping’s future will involve different parts of the sector using different fuels, and electrification is a solution to decarbonize short voyages, including port operations,” Nick Potter, general manager of Shell Shipping and Maritime, Asia Pacific & Middle East, said in a prepared statement. “Switching to zero-emission, fully-electric ferries is part of Shell’s ambition to help accelerate progress towards net-zero emissions in the shipping sector.”

The vessels, to be built, owned and operated by Singapore’s publicly listed aluminum vessel builder-operator Penguin, are notable as being the Shell Energy company’s first all-electric vessels globally.

Incat Crowther already has eight vessels in operation featuring electrified drivetrains, including the recently launched Sea Change, a 21 meter (69') catamaran ferry utilizing hydrogen fuel cells.

The Electric Dream vessels will continue Incat Crowther’s zero-emissions trajectory, utilizing battery banks and eliminating any fossil fuel on-board, creating zero emissions and very little noise.

The all-electric ferries will be powered by a lithium-ion battery system with a capacity of 1.2 MW and run at speeds of over 20 knots with zero emissions and noise. When berthed at Shell Bukom, the ferries will be charged via a combination of fast charging during peak hours, and slow charging during off-peak hours and overnight.

“Incat Crowther has a rich history in adapting new technology to market and has played a leading role in applying this new propulsion technology to this application,” said Ed Duson, managing director of Incat Crowther Europe. “We’ve real-world experience in electric drivetrains, energy storage and alternative fuels such as hydrogen and LNG. To have the opportunity to bring our experience and expertise to this project.

No specifications for the boats were made available.

“Our Electric Dream project is much more than just electric ferries and shore chargers,” said James Tham, Penguins managing director. “It is Singapore’s first real-world commercial application of marine electrification."