Will you catch an electric ferry next time you visit Norway? The chances are you may soon. The Norwegian government wants two-thirds of Atlantic coastal ferries to be battery powered by 2030. And that includes whether they carry cars and drivers, or foot passengers or both.
But Will You Catch an Electric Ferry Safely?
Of course you will, says Erlend Hatleberg, project manager at Havyard Group, which runs the Sognefjord shipyard. His company has operated the electric motorized ferry MF Ampere since 2014. Moreover, it is currently fulfilling orders for thirteen more zero-emission watercraft.
Norway is proving a perfect testing ground with hundreds of deep fjords, and narrow sea inlets serviced by a network of inland roads. The Ampere carries 350 passengers and 120 cars, and runs on 10 tons of lithium batteries. If your answer is yes, to will you catch an electric ferry in Norway then this could be your experience.
There Were a Few Snags Along the Road Though
“I’m very doubtful that the first steam engine was flawless,” said Captain Steinar Johnsen of MF Ampere. “If you’re always going to wait for something better, you’re never going to do anything.”
It appears that ‘better’ will follow shortly in Holland too. There, engineers have plans for 10 boats capable of running for 35 hours on sets of four 20-foot-long batteries. Overall, Europe plans to go green by 2050 with all 7,300 inland ships.
But will you catch an electric ferry without a crew? That is the next question in the unending journey to a greener, brighter future for our kids. The International Maritime Organization needs to catch up on the rules, before designs start bearing fruit and they could lose their grip.
Preview Image: MF Ampere Electric Ferry
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