The cruise ship set to carry travelers between the UK and France in the next few years will be the world's largest hybrid vessel.
In a statement, the French company Brittany Ferries said the cruiseferry Saint-Malo would have a battery capacity of 11,5 MWh/megawatt-hours, which is approximately double the typically used for hybrid propulsion in marine vessels.
According to Brittany Ferries, the boat is scheduled for delivery in 2024. A second hybrid cruiseferry will join the fleet shortly after, sailing between Portsmouth (England UK) and Ouistreham/Caen (France).
The idea behind the hybrid vessels is that they can run on LNG (liquefied natural gas), battery power, or both.
Brittany Ferries said that a total of 3x hybrid ships were being constructed by Stena RoRo using Wartsila's hybrid technology.
Hakan Agnevall (Wartsila's CEO) said the extensive battery size would "allow the vessels to operate with full power, using both propellers and all thrusters to maneuver emissions-free in and out of ports, even in bad weather."
Marine-based transport is no different from other types of mobility in that it has a considerable environmental footprint.
According to the Brussels-based T&E (Transport & Environment/Europe's largest clean transport campaign group), ships represented “a significant source of oil consumption and emissions in the EU.”
Citing an analysis of data from Eurostat, T&E adds that 2019 had seen EU shipping consume “12.2% of all transport fuel.”
According to the International Energy Agency, in 2020, shipping had been responsible for ~2% of the world’s energy-related CO2 emissions.