Quiet Milestone

Weinheim (Germany), April 22, 2021. When New Zealand’s first all-electric ferry leaves the dock in Wellington Harbor, in the very near future, lithium-ion batteries supplied by Freudenberg Sealing Technologies’ XALT Energy organization will ensure that passengers experience a clean, quiet voyage. The batteries have been integrated into the ship’s design by the McKay Group, an electro-technology company that is focused on sustainable transportation solutions.

The new, 19-meter (62-foot), 135-passenger vessel will be part of the East by West Wellington Harbour Ferry Service fleet and will make approximately nine daily trips between Queens Wharf and Days Bay. XALT’s high performance batteries will provide the busy vessel with a fume- and emission-free power source that has been optimally configured to meet the design requirements of the ship. The McKay Group has installed 72 XMP 76P lithium-ion battery packs onboard that will supply approximately 550 kWh of energy. In a country known for its natural beauty and focus on sustainability, the ferry represents a milestone in New Zealand’s marine industry.

“We are honored to play such a crucial role in this environmental achievement,” said Felix Nelius, Director, Sales and Application Engineering of battery systems for XALT Energy. “This project completely aligns with our interest in promoting the growth of zero-emission transportation solutions throughout the world.”

XALT’s XMP 76P liquid-cooled, lithium-ion battery packs are part of its XPAND portfolio of energy storage solutions. Designed for heavy-duty, commercial applications, they offer high discharge and charge rates, an excellent cycle life and are easy to install.

The XMP 76P pack system used on the ferry will power two twin electric engines that enable the ferry to reach operational speeds of 20 knots and continuously operate for one hour between charges. The design and materials used in the ship’s construction – including a lightweight, canoe-shaped displacement hull made of carbon fiber – made system modularity a priority with the McKay Group engineers. They ultimately installed and networked XMP 76P packs in two battery rooms around the ship.

“This project sets a benchmark for our company,” said Ben Haselden, Marine Manager, McKay Group. “We needed a lithium-ion battery system that could meet several requirements including high charging capacity, high power density and modularity. XALT Energy’s XMP 76P packs were the answer.

Successful collaboration with the McKay Group on the ferry is likely to lead to additional opportunities, Nelius noted.

“We were able to satisfy the McKay Group’s requirements on both a product and service level throughout this ferry project,” he said. “Our companies’ mutual interest in expanding sustainable energy power options to customers around the world will likely result in future marine industry projects. We are looking forward to working with the McKay Group again.”

Ulrike Reich

Head of Media Relations & Internal Communications

Telephone: + 49 (0) 6201 80 5713


Cheryl Eberwein

Director, Corporate Communications

Telephone: 734-451-0020