Electrification of transportation in Norway is a big deal. Battery-electric vehicles made up 54% of light-vehicle ( cars, light trucks, and SUVs) sales in Norway in 2020. Even though the country is a major exporter of North Sea oil, Norway, through a robust EV charging infrastructure and aggressive incentives, has rapidly become one of the most electrified nations in the world.
It should come as no surprise that Norway has begun making waves in the adoption of electrically powered ferry boats to help its citizens negotiate the many fjords that cover the country’s coastline. It has thousands of fjord inlets and adding all of them together gives Norway 25,148 kilometers (km) of coastline—the 8th longest in the world, just behind Australia (25,760 km) and well ahead of The U.S. (19,924 km) and China (14,500 km). Getting from one coastal town to another is a long drive, but often a very short ferry trip across a narrow fjord.
Norway had the first electric car ferry, the Ampere, that went into service in 2015, and now has an ever-increasing number of them. Add in a few hybrid diesel/electric vessels, and it’s clear that Norway is on the leading edge of maritime electric transportation.
Here, starting with the Ampere, are the details of nine significant electrically powered passenger and vehicle ferries that are plying the waters in and around Norway.
Kevin Clemens is a Senior Editor with Battery Technology.