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Published on July 27th, 2016 | by James Ayre


Feasible To Replace 70% Of Norwegian Ferries With Fully Electric Or Hybrid Ferries (Study)

July 27th, 2016 by  

bellona-battery-electric-ferryIt’s economically feasible to convert roughly 70% of the Norwegian ferry fleet to battery or hybrid propulsion — 84 out of 180 ferries could be converted to battery power, and 43 to hybrid propulsion — according to a recent study carried out by Siemens and Bellona.

The study findings utilize the results of the study of the Ampere battery-powered ferry — which utilizes technology provided by Siemens.

The head of the marine division at Siemens, Odd Moen, commented: “We see that the electric drive smashes diesel ferries on profitability for 7 out of 10 ferries. The fact that so many ferry crossings have already proven suitable for electrification is very positive. Therefore, we should act quickly to put in place the next battery ferries in Norway.”

Emissions Free Ferry Battery Powered Ferry light-weight and slender catamaran hull

Here’s an overview of the study findings (the full study can be found here):

  • 84 ferries suitable for all-electric operation
  • 43 ferries suitable for hybrid technology
  • The total cost is 3.5 billion (including infrastructure and charging solutions), but the savings will be 700 million per year. Additional investments by electric power will thus be repaid within 5 years because of lower costs for fuel and maintenance (life of a ferry is 30–40 years).
  • The measure would reduce CO2 emissions by 300,000 tons a year. It corresponds to a large Norwegian industrial company, or 150,000 cars.

The director of Bellona, Frederic Hauge, commented on the findings: “The restructuring must start now. In the coming years, 10 new ferry crossings with a total of 22 ferries will be out to tender. 20 of them are suitable for battery operation. The technology exists and it is economically profitable. There is no longer an option to continue with harmful diesel ferries.”

Hauge continued, stating that the Minister of Transport Ketil Solvik-Olsen should “develop a requirement that all new government vehicles, and all new taxis, ferries, ferry boats and diesel tugs, will use low- or zero-emission technology when the technology is warranted.”

Odd Moen expressed similar sentiment: “Ampere has covered a stretch equal to a distance of half the way around the globe. The technology works, you just need to use it.”


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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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