Portugal is making waves with its first-ever electric ferry, the “Salicórnia,” ready to set sail in December. This isn’t just a boat; it’s a €7.3 million leap towards cleaner, greener public transport. Built by Navaltagus, the ferry will connect São Jacinto and Forte da Barra, in Aveiro, and it’s all about cutting emissions and boosting transport capacity without the noise pollution.
Here’s the deal: “Salicórnia” is homegrown tech, crafted in Portugal, though it’s got some international parts. Mayor Ribau Esteves of Aveiro is stoked, not just because it’s a local win, but because it’s going to slash 300 tons of CO2 each year. That’s a big deal for the environment. Plus, it’s keeping public transport affordable with a municipal subsidy, so it’s not just green; it’s also wallet-friendly.
After acing sea trials, “Salicórnia” is ready to join the AveiroBus operation, ramping up the ride with space for 260 passengers and 19 vehicles. That’s 90% more people and 30% more cars than the old ferry. And it’s smooth sailing with less noise and more comfort.
The mayor’s proud as punch, saying inspectors from all over gave it the thumbs up. The christening was a big moment, marking the ferry’s readiness and celebrating Portuguese shipbuilding prowess. Esteves is all about the public service this ferry brings, especially for São Jacinto folks who need a reliable ride across the Aveiro channel. The city’s chipping in half a million euros a year to keep ticket costs down.
For now, ticket prices stay put, but they’re crunching numbers to see if they can pass on any operational savings to riders down the line. The charging system’s set up is in the works, with a €1.3 million contract out to Ahlers Lindley and ETG. It should be good to go by November’s end.
But wait, there’s more. Aveiro’s not stopping at “Salicórnia.” They’re rolling out ten new electric buses and wrapping up charging stations for the “moliceiros” – those iconic tourist boats. By year’s end, boat operators should start fitting electric motors, keeping the tourist vibe alive and eco-friendly.
So, what’s the takeaway? Aveiro’s going all-in on electric, and “Salicórnia” is just the start. It’s about cleaner air, quieter streets, and keeping the city moving. It’s a glimpse into a future where public transport and the planet are better off. And that’s something to get on board with.