Battery-powered ferries traverse the fjords

Norwegian companies are demonstrating how to move electric ferries from prototypes to commercial operation.

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Maritime transport is going electric, with ferries leading the way. The world’s first battery-powered ferry was introduced in Norway in 2015 and more are in the pipeline.

Norway’s narrow fjords are a perfect test bed for electric ferries with short distances to travel and frequent docking to load and unload cars. This means batteries can be charged regularly, minimising the need for backup generators running on fossil fuels.

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Commercial operation

Ferry operator Fjord1 has ordered 13 battery ferries from shipbuilders Havyard, 10 of which Havyard is also designing. On top of that, Havyard is designing two additional ferries for Fjord1 which will be built at other shipyards.

The first electric Havyard ferry will enter service in January 2020 as part of the network of national and county roads in Western Norway. Each ferry will be adapted to its designated route along the Norwegian coast, using local meteorological and maritime data to ensure optimal energy use.

All Havyard ferries will also meet strict requirements for low energy consumption in rough weather. To achieve this, Havyard uses advanced simulation tools to calibrate the design and performance of individual ferries.

Havyard’s subsidiaries Norwegian Electric Systems (NES) and Norwegian Control Systems (NCS) are delivering hybrid propulsion systems, battery and electric systems, and bridge controls with autocrossing.

Concrete benefits

Battery-powered ferries from Havyard will cut greenhouse gas emissions and fuel costs while offering passengers a comfortable ride.

The vessels will be tested in the harsh climate of Western Norway, ensuring they are fit for purpose in most conditions across the world.

The ferries designed for Fjord1 will hold between 50 and 120 cars, with design and dimensions being adaptable.

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Market potential

In April 2018, the International Maritime Organization agreed on its first ambitious strategy to limit greenhouse gas emissions in the international shipping sector.

While cargo ships are still a way off going electric, ferries are at the forefront of making use of the technology that will have to power maritime transport in the future.

Havyard was founded in 2000 and listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange in 2014. The company works and invests continually to bolster its green profile.

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Mjølstadnesvegen 22, 6092 FOSNAVÅG, Norway

+47 70 08 45 50

At a glance

  • Battery-powered ferries for cars and passengers

  • Well-established zero-emission technology

  • Optimised to local conditions



Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals