World’s ‘first’ fully electric ship wins eco award

Car-carrying ferry dubbed the world’s ‘first’ zero-emission, fully-electric ship awarded the Seatrade Clean Shipping award for 2015

A car-carrying ferry dubbed the world’s ‘first’ zero-emission, fully-electric ship has been awarded the Seatrade Clean Shipping award for 2015.

The Ampere zero emission electric ferry runs between two villages in Norway

The Ampere zero emission electric ferry runs between two villages in Norway

Owned and operated by Norwegian ferry firm Norled and designed and constructed by shipping company Fjellstrand, the DNV GL classed car ferry known as Ampere is a fully battery driven catamaran made of aluminium.

The 80-metre long vessel is able to carry 120 cars and 360 passengers across the Sognefjord between the villages of Lavik and Oppedal in Norway. It is one of three ferries operated by Norled on the route and runs 34 times each day with a crossing time of 20 minutes.

Between trips, the 1MWh lithium-polymer battery pack on board can be changed in 10 minutes.

As the power required to charge the vessel is beyond the capacity of the electrical grid serving the villages, battery buffers have been installed at both ports. These buffer batteries can be continuously charged from the grid to provide a quick charge to the ferry’s batteries.

According to Norled, compared to a standard diesel ferry serving the same route, the Ampere saves about one million litres of fuel each year as well as preventing 2,640 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

Emissions of particulate matter, nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulphur dioxide (SOx) are also eliminated. In economic terms, battery hybridisation of ferries can provide potential fuel cost savings of 10% to 30%, with a payback time of three to five years, while all-electric ferries can produce fuel cost savings of 50% to 80%.

The award was accepted by Sigvald Breivik, technical director of Norled, on behalf of the project partners. He said: “Norled are proud to be the first ferry operator to operate the world’s first zero emission ferry.”

Narve Mjøs, director battery services and projects at DNV GL Maritime, added: “We are honoured to have been part of the Ampere project and to have received this award. This has been a very exciting project to work on and we were very pleased that we could help to realise the vision of Norled and Fjellstrand. Vessels such as the Ampere demonstrate how the industry can use existing technologies to improve its impact on the environment, while at the same time maintaining economic operations.”

Norwegian shipping magazine ‘Skipsrevyen’ also previously gave the annual ‘Ship of the year’ award to the Ampere’s owners, designers and yard.

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Fjellstrand AS


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9 years ago

The Canby Ferry which links Canby and Wilsonville/Stafford in Clackamas County across the Willamette River in Oregon, USA and The Straussee Ferry (Strausseefähre in German) which crosses the Straussee lake, near the town of Strausberg in Brandenburg, Germany are both fully electric – powered via an overhead wire with electrical return being via the water.

Several canals in Germany, France and Belgium also used to use electrically powered tugs. One still does, albeit only through a tunnel.

So, for the Norwegians to claim that they have the first electrically powered ferry is simply wrong.


9 years ago

The award should be withdrawn. Mechanical energy storage should of been used. This could of been a way of getting the first world to stop ignoring fast spinning is the wrong way of storing energy as making the ‘wheel’ wider is FAR more cost effective.

Even on gen one applications- like using ice cold fjord water to heat a village, you simply hire someone who can plumb ammonia, and get it done. Here ‘ferriss’ wheel sized, external ‘banked’ track supported mass can still be afforded as the batteries can not be justified for replacement in cost and took almost all the money.

Most Mortifying development of 2015. America learned this lesson and almost lost the second term of our president in the process.

WHere light is in short supply, flywheel theory is knowledge developed for Master’s academic credentials and should be common among all storage experts by now, nearly a decade if not two has passed since publication!


I had not noticed this was ‘car’ supporting infrastructure, that explains the willful blindness…. so sorry to have skimmed it oblivious to that before I posted!

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