Public transport is not only about roads, but in certain contexts also about water. Eurac Research examined the potential of electric ferries to reduce emissions in Italian lakes, focusing on the case study of Lake Orta, currently served by three boats.
The researchers analysed boat models on the market, and developed a model to determine the minimum number of electric vessels needed to completely replace diesel ferry fleets. Using real data from electric ship manufacturers, the model revealed the crucial importance of the charging infrastructure and proposed optimal scenarios.
For example, simulations showed that, with higher charging powers, it is possible to replace the entire fleet with the same number of electric ships without changes to routes or timetables, making Italian lakes quieter and more environmentally friendly.