Below is a translated copy of a Bellona article originally published in Norwegian.  For a link to the original article click here


A recent study reveals that it will be profitable to replace 70 percent of Norwegian ferries to either battery or hybrid propulsion.

Of the 180 ferries that cross the Norwegian fjords, it is financially feasible to convert 84 of the ferries to battery power and 43 ferries to hybrid operation. This equates to over 70 percent of the Norwegian ferry fleet. This is the main conclusion of a recent study by Siemens carried out in cooperation with Bellona.

Read the full feasibility study on battery ferries here

bellona articleThe study is based on experiences from the battery ferry “Ampere”, which has used the electrical solutions from Siemens.

– We see that the electric drive smashes diesel ferries on profitability for seven out of ten ferries. The fact that so many ferry crossings have already proven suitable for electrification is very positive. Therefore, we should act quickly to put in place the next battery ferries in Norway, says Odd Moen who heads the marine division of Siemens.


Repaid in five years

The main findings of the survey are very encouraging showing that Norway can greatly reduce emissions via their fleet of ferries:

  • 84 ferries suitable for all-electric operation
  • 43 ferries suitable for hybrid technology
  • The total cost is 3.5 billion (including infrastructure and charging solutions), but the savings will be 700 million per year. Additional investments by electric power will thus be repaid within 5 years because of lower costs for fuel and maintenance (life of a ferry is 30-40 years).
  • The measure would reduce CO2 emissions by 300,000 tons a year . It corresponds to a large Norwegian industrial company, or 150,000 cars.

Siemens: The technology is mature

The battery ferry Ampere was put into operation this winter, but so far no other ferry routes have received electric drives. Battery and hybrid ferries should now be standard when the state announces new tender on the affected routes, say Bellona.

– The restructuring must start now. In the coming years, ten new ferry crossings with a total of 22 ferries will be out to tender. 20 of them are suitable for battery operation. The technology exists and it is economically profitable. There is no longer an option to continue with harmful diesel ferries, says Frederic Hauge, director of Bellona.

He demands that the Minister of Transport Ketil Solvik-Olsen follows up with the Sundvolden declaration, that states that the government will “Develop a requirement that all new government vehicles, and all new taxis, ferries, ferry boats and diesel tugs, will use low- or zero-emission technology when the technology is warranted. ”

Both Bellona and Siemens have grown impatient with the government, believing Solvik-Olsen is hiding behind an idea that the technology is not mature.

– Ampere has covered a stretch equal to a distance of half the way around the globe. The technology works, you just need to use it, says Odd Moen of Siemens.