After successfully kickstarting the electrification of the cars that travel on its roads, Norway has turned its attention to electrifying other forms of transport. And since it is a country with a lot of coastline and many fiords, transport by water is a very popular way to move people and cargo - it has slowly been increasing the number of hybrid or electric ferries.
Recently added to Norway’s electric fleet is the MF Bastø Electric (built in Turkey by the Sefine Shipyard), a fully-electric ferry that can carry either 200 cars or 24 trucks, as well as 600 passengers. It measures 139.2 meters in length, is 21 meters wide and can travel at up to 13 knots (15 mph or 24 km/h). It will serve Norway’s busiest ferry route, some 10.5 km (5.67 nautical miles), between Horten and Moss, across the Oslo Fjord.
The ferry has a battery capacity of 4.3 mWh and it should be able to do between 20 and 24 crossings per day which it will do mostly autonomously, courtesy of a proprietary system by Kongsberg Maritime. Charging will only be done on the Horten side, but plans are to create a facility that allows charging on both ends of the route - peak rate of charge is 9 MW, but it won’t be cranked any higher than 7.2 MW during routine charging.
This is by no means Norway’s first electric ferry, though, just its largest. The first fully-electric ferry to enter active service in Norway was the MF Ampere which debuted in early 2015. With its emphasis on electrifying all forms of transport, Norway will probably become the first country in the world where you will soon be able to travel without any tailpipe emissions - electric aircraft are the final step in this green puzzle, but they are not quite here yet.
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