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News blog8 June 20232 min read

The transition to electric transport in the heart of the Cyclades islands

The electrification of sea transportation between the two cycladic islands as well as an innovative business model that enhances cooperation between local authority and private entity paves the way for Antiparos to becoming an eco-friendly destination

The transition to electric transport in the heart of the Cyclades islands
Paula Guerreiro via Unsplash

The NESOI funded project “Transport Electrification on Sea and Land in Antiparos” (TESLA) aims to electrify sea transportation between 2 Cycladic islands: Antiparos and Paros. The two islands are only 1 nautical mile and a 7-minute ferry ride apart. A local ferry company does frequent daily crossings serving both local and touristic needs throughout the year.

Run by the Municipality of Antiparos and the Paros-Antiparos Ferry Cooperative, and with the support of the technical consultants (AEGEA, Hydrus Engineering S.A., and the DAFNI Network), TESLA explores the possibility of electrifying one of the four passenger ferries operating the route, as well as the municipal vehicle fleet. This would entail the installation of EV charging stations distributed at suitable points around the island. The planned interventions will have a notable impact on reducing emissions both on land and at sea since a dedicated PV station will cover the total new electricity demand and the energy needs of four municipal buildings.

A technical study analysed possible solutions for the electrification of the ferry, from which sizing and charging specifications were derived. The study also included the analysis and selection of vehicles suitable for electrification of Antiparos’ municipal fleet, as well as the pre-study of the necessary EV chargers.  Based on the electricity demand assessment deriving from the loads described above, the proposed PV station has been sized to a 550kWp capacity. Subsequently, a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) was carried out for the entire project, examining different forms of financing.

The combined participation scheme of the Municipality and the Paros-Antiparos Shipping Cooperative (where the Cooperative takes over the capital expenditure of the ferry and the Municipality the other interventions) emerged as the best form of financing for the profitability of each member (IRR=12%, PBP<12yrs). This innovative business model will pave the way for sustainable projects highlighting the effective cooperation of a local authority with a local private entity.

The foreseen infrastructural developments of the project promise to turn Antiparos into a flagship for other islands with similar characteristics across Greece and the EU, and could inspire further research to scale up the proposed solutions.

The completed project is estimated to result in avoided emissions of 250.1t CO2eq per year due to the electrification of transport and the installed PV station. The completed project is expected to enhance the profile of the island as an eco-friendly destination, leading to increased tourist activity, and simultaneously creating new job opportunities for the operation and maintenance of the new infrastructure.


Publication date
8 June 2023