With the world quickly shifting towards EVs, it was expected that other forms of transportation will also follow suit. This is exactly what happened recently when a Norwegian electric container ship completed its first voyage. The big thing is that the electric ship is likely to reduce 1000 tons of annual carbon emissions.
Specifications Of The Vessel
Production of the Yara Birkeland, which measures a total of 80 m, started in 2017.
The electric container ship has the capability to carry a total of 120 containers, thanks to its 7MWh battery capacity. The huge batteries will be stored in eight battery rooms and will have a size equivalent to 100 Tesla vehicles.
Yara Birkeland can travel at a maximum speed of 15 knots which isn’t slow considering the size of the gigantic vessel.
Although the electric container ship currently requires a captain to operate, reports claim that a fully autonomous version is in the works and will be available within two years, completely revolutionizing the container shipping segment.
The electric container ship will be capable of loading and unloading items as well as charging itself, requiring less human intervention.
According to the manufacturers, the advanced technology incorporated in this state-of-the-art container ship will reduce the risk of accidents caused by human error.
While some may see Yara Birkeland as a threat to their current jobs, others see it as a new opportunity to keep our planet safe and green.
Is This A Bright Future For Shipping?
Although the electric container ship’s initial journey was only 14 kilometers long, it still means a lot to the shipping industry.
As global environmental concerns grow, the shipping industry, like the automotive segment, may face bans on the use of gasoline and diesel engines in the coming decades.
Thus, Yara Birkeland has not only added a new dimension to the industry but has also paved the way by leading from the front.
It has demonstrated that as the world of EVs is booming, the shipping sector is also likely to undergo similar major changes. This is unquestionably a positive indicator for the shipping industry’s future.
However, it also implies that conventional container ships may only have a limited time before being forced to convert to an electric platform by governments all over the world.
Total Cost Of Building The Ship
Financing is critical in any major project, and Yara Birkeland is no exception. As a result, Enova provided the funds for the electric container ship’s construction, which totaled 133 million Norwegian Krone (approximately €14.16 (£12.01) million).
It is worth noting that Enova is an entity of the Norwegian government that is in charge of promoting the use of renewable energy.
Norway is already one of the leading countries in terms of EV usage. Therefore, this latest step of modifying the overall shipping industry is likely to have a positive impact on the environmental conditions of not only the country but also the rest of the world.
The step is likely to be followed by several other companies that will launch ships similar to Yara Birkeland.