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Norwegian Benchmark For Tesla Shipping: Zero Emission Sea Transportation

The world's first fully electric container ship has just been announced in Norway. It will cut 1,000 tonnes of CO2 and replace 40,000 trips by diesel-powered trucks a year; certainly, a very good hint for Tesla (green) shipping system.

Norway is a large energy producer, and one of the world's largest exporters of oil, even though most of the electricity in the country is produced by hydroelectricity. Norway is one of the leading countries in the electrification of its transport sector, with the largest fleet of electric vehicles per capita in the world.

Image courtesy of Jarvin Jarle Vines, Wikimedia Commons
The oil platform Statfjord A with the flotel Polymariner.

As per Mike Hudema´s report yesterday (@MikeHudema), the "Yara Birkeland" container ship from Norway will be the world´s first fully electric and autonomous container vessel with zero emissions. Norwegian Prime Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre himself boarded "the ship that represents the future."

The Prime Minister stated that "…this is very historic because here comes new technology that makes it possible to move goods away from the road. Lots of vehicles away from the road, lots of emissions are gone, and there is safe transport."

He also mentioned that "…this is the start of something that will change transport in the world, and take us in the direction of cutting emissions, so this has incredible potential and is very promising."

According to the report, Norwegian company Kongsberg is responsible for the development and delivery of all essential technology for Yara Birkeland. Geir Hady, President and CEO of Kongsberg, stated that " … this ship is really a conpcept and an opportunity that the rest of the world needs to make sure that we get green shipping going forward. The concept and the knowledge that we have gathered in this project is going to be extremely important for us to reach both the national and also the international sustainability goals going forward."

“We are proud to be able to showcase the world's first fully electric and self-propelled container ship. It will cut 1,000 tonnes of CO2 and replace 40,000 trips by diesel-powered trucks a year, said Svein Tore Holsether, CEO of Yara.

KONGSBERG specialises in developing advanced technologies, to provide extreme performance for extreme conditions. They have created an integrated portfolio of solutions, for businesses, partners and nations operating from the depths of the sea, to outer space, to the digital frontier.

The group is made up of Kongsberg Maritime, Kongsberg defence & aerospace, and Kongsberg Digital. According to their website, "… Kongsberg Maritime is a world leader in marine technology. With an extensive portfolio of innovative and integrated products and solutions, Kongsberg Maritime delivers efficiency, reliability, flexibility, and environmental sustainability to enhance the business of its customers."

They also state that "…ultimately, the SDGs are the story. The only story. We are proud of the transformation of KONGSBERG to become a driving force in sustainability not just in maritime, but in all aspects of industry and society. Together with our partners and customers, we are helping to make a difference directly to the success of the most important mission that the UN and the world has ever faced."

Tesla Supercharger, courtesy of Tesla Inc.

Tesla uses Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean, also from Norway, as one of the companies to ship its Tesla Model Y and Model 3. As an example, the first export of Chinese-produced Tesla vehicles set sail from Shanghai in October 2020 onboard the Wallenius Wilhelmsen vessel, MV Toscana. Back then, a total of 3,600 Model 3 cars were shipped to Zeebrugge, from where they were delivered to customers across Europe.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen is a shipping and logistics group, with Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean and Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions (formerly known as Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics), EUKOR, American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier (ARC), United European Car Carriers (UECC) and Armacup as main brands. Total income for 2019 was USD 3.9 billion with 9,400 employees worldwide. They control 126 vessels servicing 15 trade routes to six continents, together with a global inland distribution network, 120 processing centers, and 11 marine terminals.

Tesla Model 3, courtesy of Tesla Inc.

If these companies follow the trend st by Kongsberg Norway, the environmental impact would be enormous, as well as the savings in the mid and long run by switching to electric. Time will tell if that pathway will be followed by the mainstream players in the transport and logistics industry worldwide, aiming at zero emissions commitments.

Could we get to see collaboration between Tesla and Kongsberg (or any other container vessel company) regarding green shipping? Please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.

Image of Yara Birkeland, Courtesy of Kongsberg Maritime.

Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.