Called ZeroCat, the 260-foot ferry will enter passenger service in 2015 on a route between Lavik and Oppedal. The ferry’s electric powertrain was designed by Norwegian shipyard Fjellstrand with battery technology from Siemens, and it will be run by ferry operator Norled.
Instead of a 2,000-hp diesel engine — which powers the current ferry and sucks up over 264,000 gallons of fuel each year — ZeroCat features an 800 kW battery that weighs 11 tons and drives two screws. Though the battery is quite heavy, the ship only weighs half as much as a conventional catamaran ferry, thanks to twin hulls made of aluminum. Those hulls are a slim design, which further increases efficiency, with Siemens estimating the ferry will need only 400 kW to cruise at 10 knots.