We have already seen ships going all-electric, but they are mainly ferries operating over short distances. Now we are seeing batteries making their way into cruise ships as the first plug-in hybrid ship sails for the Arctic.
The operators of the first all-electric ferry in Norway, the ‘Ampere’, reported some impressive statistics after operating the ship for over two years.
They claim that the all-electric ferry cuts emissions by 95% and costs by 80%.
At an event last year, they announced their findings and unsurprisingly, the potential cost savings are attracting a lot of orders for new all-electric ferries and for the conversion of existing diesel-powered ferries.
Not long after, Fjord1, a major Norwegian transport conglomerate which operates 75 ships, placed an important order with the Havyard Group to build a fleet of battery-electric ferries.
We have seen other routes planned to be electrified, like New York, which is getting its first electric ferry next year.
Two big new all-electric ferries are also coming to Canada.
Plug-in Hybrid Cruise Ship
What all those ships have in common is that they all operate on relatively short routes.
Batteries still need to improve in order for ships to be able to travel long distances.
However, the industry is starting to look at hybrid systems to power boats much like plug-in hybrid cars.
The hybrid expedition cruise ship, the Roald Amundsen, which can carry 500 passengers, is set to head out from northern Norway this week on its maiden voyage to the Arctic.
Cruise operator Hurtigruten is in charge of the expedition.
Hurtigruten Chief Executive Daniel Skjeldam told Reuters that the ship mostly runs on marine gasoil, but it is also equipped with a battery pack capable of running the ship on electric-only for 45 to 60 minutes.