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Clean Power Nichiomaru Solar-Diesel Ship from Nissan

Published on February 3rd, 2012 | by Charis Michelsen


Nissan Ships Its Electric Cars on a Solar-Diesel Ship

February 3rd, 2012 by  

You may ask how green an electric car really is—after all, doesn’t it have to be shipped to the dealership using dirty fossil-fuel trucks and ships? Not quite—Nissan has just revealed its new energy-efficient, partially solar-powered cargo ship, specifically developed to make the process of getting electric cars from the factory to the showroom a little greener.

Nichiomaru Solar-Diesel Ship from Nissan

Nissan keeps making noise about leading the charge toward zero emissions, or at least as little carbon dioxide output as possible. Going beyond their zero emissions and eco-friendly cars is their latest domestic shipping project – an energy-efficient and eco-friendly car carrier.

Named the Nichiomaru, which means “king of Japan,” the ship is the first Japanese vessel to make use of both solar panels and an electrically controlled diesel engine. It’s also got energy-efficient appliances and lights up nearly everything with LEDs. According to Nissan’s calculations, the Nichiomaru will use 1400 tons less of fuel and put out 4200 fewer tons of carbon dioxide per year compared to the same class of ships without the nifty gadgets.

The Leaf Is Now Greener

The Nichiomaru is based in Yokohama (that’s the one that has the massive USAF base nearby, south of Tokyo). Its shipping route will take it from the Kanto region (around Tokyo) out west to the Kinki region (the port city of Kobe, home of the super-expensive Kobe beef), and down south to the island of Kyushu, and that’s where it gets super neat. Where previous ships running this path would make 4 circuits a week, the Nichiomaru can make 6 and still use fewer finite resources to do it. And it isn’t Nissan’s only foray into green shipping, as they are also using an aerodynamically-improved shipping carrier in Northern Europe to deliver LEAF EV’s to dealerships as well.

The solar-diesel hybrid ship is the latest part of Nissan’s environmental action plan, which it calls the “Nissan Green Program 2016.” Their stated goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions not only coming out of the tailpipe of the car, but also in production, distribution, and sales. The Nichiomaru is their first success in the logistics area of the chain.

Questions? Opinions? Let us know in the comments, below.

Source: Kankyo Business | Image: Nissan.

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About the Author

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.

  • Arjaytech

    very rarely do i come across a blog that’s both informative and entertaining, and let me tell

    you, you’ve hit the nail on the head 

  • Hank W

    I’m pretty sure Christopher Columbus Discovered the New World in a zero emission set of ships over 500 years ago

    • Bob_Wallace

      What was the Santa Maria’s Leaf capacity?

      Number of days port to port?

  • Pingback: Cool Green Morning: Friday, February 3 | Cool Green Science: The Conservation Blog of The Nature Conservancy()

  • Michael Smith

    let’s go further.. how about a zero emission ship, or sub..?

    Primary power.. Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion with Stirling Engines
    Auxiliary power.. Solar Thermal ” “, Photovoltaic, and Wind Turbines, &/or sail !

    Michael Smith, Design Engineer

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