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Autonomous Electric Container Ship Completes First Trip


Yara Birkeland, the world's first fully electric and autonomous container vessel, moored in Oslo, Norway.

Norwegian fertilizer producer Yara has been working with maritime technology company Kongsberg on the development of the vessel since 2017.

Credit: Victora Klesty/REUTERS

The world's first all-electric and emission-free container ship completed its 8.7-mile maiden voyage from Porsgrunn, Norway, to the Norwegian port of Brevik.

Next year, the Yara Birkeland will replace up to 40,000 annual truck trips for Norwegian fertilizer producer Yara, reducing the firm’s carbon emissions by as much as 1,000 tons per year.

The Birkeland is powered by a 7-megawatt/hour battery and can travel at speeds of up to 15 knots (about 17 mph/28kph).

Reuters reported the ship will eventually be able to load and offload cargo, charge its battery, and navigate autonomously.

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