German multinational conglomerate, Siemens, is working with Norwegian shipyard Fjellstrand to develop the world’s first electric-powered car ferry. The 80-meter ferry is designed to carry around 20 cars and 360 passengers. Siemens and Fjellstrand expects the ferry to be fully operational by 2015, where it will be used to replace the current vessel serving the route that is linking the Norwegian villages of Lavik and Oppedal. The huge benefit here is obviously the energy it can save. The vessel currently serving the route uses approximately one million liters of diesel a year, while emitting 570 metric tons of carbon dioxide and 15 metric tons of nitrogen oxides.
The ferry will be designed as a catamaran, a type of multi-hulled boat or ship consisting of two hulls and joined by a structure. Its hulls will be made of aluminum instead of steel, and electric motors powered by 10-metric ton batteries will be used to drive the ship. According to its designers, the ferry has the amazing capability to recharge itself in just 10 minutes. Its batteries will be recharged in the breaks between crossings. This will definitely be a game changer. It is estimated that more than a hundred ferries are sailing daily to link Norway’s mainland to other islands off its coast. If successful, Norway plans to replace its vessels with electric-powered ones, such as this one.