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Norway to get the world's first electric ferry in 2015

(SeeNews) - Nov 13, 2012 - The Norwegian Public Roads Administration has chosen Norled AS to operate ferry traffic in the Sognefjorden fjord in southwestern Norway, where the company will put into operation the world's first electric-drive ferry in 2015.

Norled will use three vessels to operate the route Lavik-Oppedal, of which two will be conventional ferries and one will be a 100% electric-drive catamaran, the agency said on Friday. The value of the contract was not disclosed.

Compared with a modern diesel ferry built in 2010, the electric-drive catamaran will use half as much energy.

In the public procurement procedure the agency had a requirement for a 20% improvement of energy and environmental efficiency, but it did not put any restrictions on the type of technology to be used. The remaining three bidders will be compensated with NOK 3 million (USD 519,000/EUR 409,000) each for their development work.

The electric ferry is being built by Norwegian Fjellstrand AS entirely of aluminium. It will have a length of 80 m (262.5 ft) and a capacity to carry 120 cars plus 360 passengers. The journey between Lavik and Oppedal will take 20 minutes and the batteries of the ferry will be charged for 10 minutes in the loading and offloading time.