Norwegian ferries revolutionized by Chinese electric innovation

Norway is  electrifying all means of transportation including cars, buses and ferries. The country is working on maintaining its position as the world’s leader in electric mobility users per capita. Striving to reach its ambitious emission goals by 2025.

“Our next step is electrifying the high-speed vessel. We will do that by trying to use a battery-swap system inspired by the car industry,” Oslo’s boat-charging manager Pal Espen Jensen has explained.

Oslo’s three electric city passenger ferries carries up to 600 passengers each. This makes them the busiest public commuter line in Norway. The batteries of these boats are charged when the vessels dock at certain ferry stops.

Due to the high-speed vessel’s speed of 30 knots (55 km/h), charging its large battery takes too much time. Inspired by Chinese carmaker Nio’s battery-swapping stations, Oslo has decided to install the world’s first ferry whose battery is swapped each time the boat docks in port.

“Inspiration from China was critical,” says Sture Portvik. Portvik runs the electro mobility department in Oslo.

Oslo’s to be fully electric by the end of the year

“Shenzhen has proved it possible to electrify all buses and all taxis, and that’s what we are trying to copy.”

Many of the Chinese EV brands have chosen Oslo to be their first stop in the European market. This decision is helped by Norway’s zero emission target for all new passenger cars by 2025 and its tax incentives for EV buyers.

“We have a lot of Chinese brands. They are offering a very price-competitive but still good product. They have helped us boost the whole transition to zero-emission cars,” Portvik says.

Chinese investments in Europe declined by almost a quarter last year. Still, electric transport seems to be becoming Beijing’s top priority in the continent.


About Miabell Mallikka

Miabell Mallikka is a journalist working with ScandAsia at the headquarters in Bangkok.

View all posts by Miabell Mallikka

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