The Fjords orders zero emission passenger vessel

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Norwegian ferry operator The Fjords has confirmed that it is building a sister ship to the diesel-electric plug-in hybrid Vision of the Fjords, launched in 2016. However, unlike its predecessor, this 42-metre carbon fibre vessel will be all electric and completely emission free. The Future of the Fjords launches in April 2018.

Currently under construction at local builder Brødrene Aa, the new vessel incorporates a hull that minimises wake and reduces shoreline impact erosion. It offers panoramic views of the Western Norwegian fjords to up to 400 passengers.

"Under the skin this new craft is a different beast," according to The Fjords CEO Rolf Sandvik. "Vision of the Fjords switches from diesel to electric power when entering the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Nærøyfjord.

"It not only provides an optimal passenger experience, with the only noise being the fjords' natural soundtrack, but it also showcases a new, zero emissions way to enjoy and safeguard this fragile landscape."

The new DNV GL-classed "light craft" will be propelled by two 300kW electric motors, enabling cruising speeds of 16 knots along the fjord route between Flåm and Gudvangen. Work to develop the charging infrastructure to enable its planned 700 trips a year is currently in the early stages. 

Future of the Fjords will cost NOK144 million (US$17 million), marking a significant increase over Vision of the Fjord's NOK90 million price tag. Much of the extra investment is the result of opting for an all-electric solution. Enova, an organisation promoting low emission solutions and backed by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, has provided NOK17.8 million to help the project come to fruition.

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