The consortium of neighbor towns represented by TPM, the acronym for “Toulon/Provence/Mediterranée” has been operating for some months two Eco Bateau Bus shuttle boats, L'Estello and Longo-Mai on the bay area. They are 21m long shuttle- crafts carrying 98 passengers. Their slim outline looks closely like the last diesel shuttles (also to our design), operating since 2010, but they are in fact quite different.
Their propulsion system comprises two electric motors powered either by a pack of batteries in Zero Emission (ZE) mode, or by a diesel genset in diesel electric(DE) mode. In ZE mode, two powerful batteries packs of 85 kwh each, feed the electric motors. The range in this mode is amazing: crossing back and forth the bay area from Saint Mandrier to the new maritime station of Toulon downtown, that is a double travel plus maneuvering at the two extremities cost only about 44% of the overall batteries capacity, also for a total 50’ of sailing. It means that in ZE mode, the new shuttles can nearly sail 2 hours, and cross back and forth the bay area two times. Their cruising top speed in these travels is 12 kts, like the other TPMshuttle- crafts.
The transition between ZE and DE modes is easy, and perceptible only by the genset starting. Batteries are loaded by night on earth power, and by day on genset power. This duality allows decrease of CO2 emission in city area, and for passengers, it brings silence on half of the travel. The sound level is about 60 db in passengers cabin in ZE mode.
In the planned operating mode, the Eco Bateau Bus should sail in Zero Emission during about half of their 12 hours day service, bringing therefore a great comfort for passengers, and bay area neighbors. Beginning of December, the Estello had sailed 1350 h, including 570h in ZE mode, showing the success of the ZE mode.
Opposite to other electric shuttles, for the Master, the Estello is a powerful and responsive craft, even more than the diesel shuttles. The response to power demand is nearly immediate thanks to its generous torque motors. The great propulsion power feeling stands in contrast with the modest energy consumption…at 12 kts, the Estello transports its 98 passengers for about 105 Wh/km/pax, that is 15% less that the last Diesel shuttles (Lou Pitchoun), themselves more performing that the remaining of TPM fleet of shuttles.
To our knowledge, there is no match in France and perhaps in Europe to the level of range, speed and responsivity of these crafts among other electric or hybrid crafts. The RMTT crews, operating these shuttles have played the game and participated in the settings and developments of the HM interface. They are proud today of their performing and environment careful crafts. This outstanding success is the fruit of the close cooperation between three companies engaged in the development of hybrid crafts:
Moreover, without the dynamic and confidence of TPM managers and political staff, such a realization would have been impossible. It places Toulon and the associated towns in TPM at the forefront of eco-technology, and energy transition. Would this success bring new identic or similar buildings in the near future...