ZF environmentally friendly propulsion is serving ferries all over the world

Ferries typically provide an efficient way to transport people, vehicles and cargo, this is why ZF decided to focus its propulsion technology on them. As cities grow, worldwide tourism increases and new emission laws come into place. There is more need than ever for new and more modern ferries. ZF decided to pick up this environmental challenge.

To follow the trends and developments toward emission-free waterways, ZF has already expanded its portfolio with hybrid-ready transmissions. An example is the new ZF 8300 PTI with power take-off. ZF has also taken the next step and mated this same transmission to CeTrax, an electric drive developed by the group. The concept made its first appereance at the SMM show in Hamburg, Germany in 2018.

zf green propulsion ferry

The scope of supply can be further expanded with input shafts, fixed pitch propellers and controls. Hybrid and purely electric, low-emission and climate-neutral ferries using ZF technology already operate in Tasmania, Sweden and Switzerland.


ZF is not new to this kind of technology

While the design of a vessel will always depend on its route and its required capacity, manufacturers and operators can agree on one important aspect: ferries need to be fuel-efficient during operation and provide a low total cost of ownership. Furthermore, they must be ready today to already fulfill the environmental regulations of tomorrow.

ZF can now leverage its decades of know-how and expertise in all kinds of applications, benefiting from synergies in automotive, commercial vehicles, industrial technology and more, to provide lightweight, robust and highly efficient transmissions for marine propulsion systems. In this way, existing drive concepts can be efficiently adapted to use new technology, produced economically and enhanced by digital supplementary functions.

A global presence

The City of New York, for example, started expanding its ferry service in 2017 to help reduce the congestion of thousands of daily commuters who need to cross the East River. To establish this city-wide ferry service, the construction of new terminals was contracted and 19 new vessels were commissioned.

On the other side of the globe, Australian companies Austal and Incat have gained a reputation as manufacturers of some of the biggest and fastest ferries available on the market. Both follow ZF’s design in terms of transmissions for their latest builds, including catamarans operating in Denmark and ferries in Malta.

Beside these, ZF was also able to support other ferry projects worldwide: on the Indonesian and Philippine archipelagos, the mainland of China, lakes in Africa, routes to islands in Europe, for tourism projects in Central America and more.


Condition monitoring for the future of propulsion

In addition, ZF has developed a Condition Monitoring System for its propulsion solutions that lets operators recognize potential issues in advance and maintenance accordingly to shorten costly downtime and avoid failures. This helps to further reduce the total cost of ownership.


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