Although electric cars are now replacing internal combustion cars, a new trend is emerging with Yara Birkeland. Even though electric cars are now replacing cars powered by internal combustion engines, ships still operate in the old fashioned way.
In 2017, a company called Yara International started working to become the pioneer of electric cargo ships. The voyage began for the Yara Birkeland, the world’s first electric cargo ship developed since then.
The first electric cargo ship, Yara Birkeland, on its maiden voyage
The ship’s manufacturer, Yara International, was founded in 1905 to fight hunger in Europe. Due to the geographical location of the Norway-based company, maritime activities have always been at the forefront. The last big step of the company was to start the electric ship project in 2017 to neutralize the damage caused by the fuels of the ships to the nature. Finally, the project bore fruit and the ship began its journey.
This time, which is a test drive, is also a precursor to larger goals. The next step is for the ship to sail autonomously, without a crew. Thus, the consumption of resources will be reduced to a very minimum, and since the fuel of the ship will be electricity, much less harm will be done to the environment.
Although the ongoing test drive for the ship is carried out without a crew, the ship is closely monitored by three control centers. Thus, possible accidents can be prevented immediately. In the next stage, the ship will make its own way without crew support and reach its destination by itself.
The ship has two 900kW Azipull compartments and two 700kW tunnel thrusters. With all this equipment, a maximum speed of about 25 km/h can be reached.