Norway • 2014 – 2026

National ferry regulations


As atonement for the oil industry that made Norway into a very rich country, since 2014 this Scandinavian nation has been aiming for a fossil-free transport system. Based on operational data, Siemens concluded in a life cycle analysis that 61 of Norway’s 112 diesel ferry routes could be replaced by electric ferries with a payback time of 5 years. The analysis included auxiliary costs such as chargers, grid, and so on.

Norled, one of the country’s major ferry companies launched the Ampere, the world’s first fully electric battery powered car ferry which in its first two years sailed a distance equivalent to 4 times around the Equator, racking it up 6 km at a time by shuttling back and forth between two little ports called Lavik and Oppedal.

A 400-passenger electric carbon-fibre catamaran Future of the Fjords began cruising the waters of the country’s famously majestic fjords. The Norwegian Parliament accept a resolution which would see emissions banned on the world heritage fjords “as soon as technically possible and no later than 2026.”

In response to this, ferry operator Fjord 1, which runs one of the largest regional transport networks in Norway has been electrifying its entire fleet. It signed an agreement with the Havyard Group for the construction of another seven battery-electric ferries. Five of them will be built in the company-owned shipyard in Leirvík, and two more will be built in the Turkish Cemre shipyard.
Their names are Vision of The Fjords, Legacy of the Fjords etc. The battery specialists who have been focusing on making this possible include PBES Energy Storage and Siemens. On the Oslofjord, at the northern end of which lies the Norwegian capital Oslo, these ferries will be put into operation by 2022 – the first of these as early as 2021.

The transport authority Ruter has awarded the contract to operate the electric ferries to the Norwegian provider Boreal Sjø. So far it is clear that the ferries, each 35 metres long and eight metres wide, can carry 350 passengers.

In addition, in June 2020, Wärtsilä was commissioned to design and equip two battery-powered ferries for Norwegian operator Boreal Sjö at Holland Shipyards in the Netherlands. The following month in New Delhi, India, Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) also received a commission to construct and supply of two autonomous electric ferries to Norway-based ASKO Maritime, with an option to build two more identical vessels.

The 67 meter-long vessels will initially be delivered as a full-electric transport ferry, powered by 1,846 kWh capacity battery. After commissioning autonomous equipment and field trials in Norway, it will operate as a fully autonomous ferry of ASKO that can transport 16 fully loaded Standard EU trailers in one go across the fjords.

In August 2020, propulsion specialist Schottel announced that Festøya, the first of four hybrid ferries for Norwegian ferry operator Norled equipped with its electric drive systems, had recently entered operation. According to the company, each of the four double-ended ro-pax ferries, built at the Remontowa shipyard in Poland, feature two of its SRE 340 EcoPellers, powered by a diesel-electric hybrid system and operated by battery power during transit.

Another Turkish boat builder, Sefine Shipyard, has won a prestigious order to supply Norwegian operator Boreal with five electric ferries – each supported by two Volvo Penta D13 MG IMO III generator sets (gensets). The ferries will operate to-and-from the islands in the inner Oslo fjord and run scheduled services throughout the day. The Multi Maritime-designed vessels will each have a length of 35 metres, a beam of eight metres, and two passenger decks capable of accommodating up to 350 passengers.


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Norway • 2014 – 2026 • National ferry regulations

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Sweden  •  2014 – 2030  •   The evolution of alt fuel ferries
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UK • 1980s – 2020 • Boats for residents and visitors
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