Public transport authority Skyss will electrify 20 ferries in Western Norway's road network in 2020, allowing the reduction of CO2 emissions by 90%.
The region has invested EUR 400+ million (~USD 472 million) in this electrification program, which is expected to see the old diesel-fueled ferries on 17 ferry coastal routes around Port Bergen being replaced by 14 new and 6 retrofitted electric ships. Power grid upgrades and charging infrastructure will be installed onshore, partially funded by the government of Norway through Enova SF, a state-owned enterprise.
Most of the electricity is to be produced by hydropower, producing no emissions, and the new ferries will so produce 40,000 fewer tonnes of CO2 annually, helping Norway to meet the UN goal of reducing climate emissions by 50% by 2030.
A large group of maritime companies has been involved in the building. Havyard Group has been involved in the technological development of the ferries, delivering electric propulsion and control systems.
Most of the electric ferries are being built outside Norway. The newbuilds are being put into operation as they are completed by the yards, with all charging infrastructure due to be completed by early 2021.