Task 38, Marine applications

Task 38, Marine applications (e-Ships)

Ongoing Tasks



Completed Tasks

Contact for further information
Ms. Marte Jensen
NCE Maritime CleanTech
MeatjĂžnnvegen 74
5412 Stord


Task 38 focuses on overviewing and encouraging the development and deployment of e-Ships, by building and sharing key knowledge on projects, performance, segments and demand.
Fully electric ships is a new and emerging technology tailwinded by the substantial reductions in battery and renewable electricity production costs. Electric maritime propulsion also supports direct use of renewable energy, significant improvements in energy efficiency and zero emission transport.
With the Paris Agreement, nations have agreed to keep the global mean temperature rise to be well below 2oC by 2100. Shipping industry is one of the large carbon emitters. As the demand for shipping is continuously growing, there is a great need for low and zero carbon shipping. 
The focus of the task will primarely be on battery electric ships, but will include related and relevant topics including hybrid battery electric systems, electric retrofit readiness for new ships and capabilities synergy between electric and autonomous ships.
The first phase of Task 38 will be to overview e-ships projects, policies and potential deployment in Scandinavia and Europe, where many new electric projects are being built. The second phase will include the Americas and the third phase will overview Asia and the rest of the world. There will be a cross cutting focus on e-ships on islands. A country and stakeholder workshop will be held in each of the regions.
Examples of cases and different segments of e-ships in the European region are descibed very briefly below. The working method of Task 38, the benefits of participating and how to join the Task is also described.

The Ærø e-Ferry project

First example is a highly energy efficient medium sized and a long 22 nautic mile range e-ferry for passengers, cars, trucks and cargo in island communities, coastal zones and inland waterways. It is supported by the European H2020 initiative, demonstrating design, building and operation of a fully electric powered ‘green’ ferry. Electricity from wind power of the Danish island Ærø will allow "Ellen" to run without any emissions. The e-ferry is expected to be in operation in 2018/2019.

e-ferryImage by the e-Ferry Project

michaelraskImage by Michael Rask


The world´s largest battery-driven ferries HH-ferries/Scandlines

The Tycho Brahe and Auroraferries will operatebetween Helsingborg in Sweden and Helsingör in Denmarkcovering a 4 kilometre distance and carrying more than 7.3 million passengers and 1.8 million vehicles annually. The combined 8,320 kWh battery power is equivalent to 10,700 car batteries.

With a 15 minutes schedule, charging must be fast and automated with shore-side charging stations in both ports using an industrial robot and 3D laser scanning and wireless communication between ship and shore to optimize connection time and maximize the charging period.


The project is co-financed by the European Union Connecting Europe Facility.

Tycho Brahe is expected to be in full electric operation in summer 2018.


Image by HH-ferries/Scandlines


Fast electric commuter e-ferry 

The BB Green electric commuter ferry by Green City Ferries is the world’s first fully electric and air lifted vessel. The concept reduces friction by 40 per cent, reduces waves and increases speed up to 30 knots. It is targeted for sheltered waterways and relatively short routes (5 – 14 NM).

BB Green is used as a zero emissions commuter ferry for up to 99 passengers on the inland waterways around Stockholm capital in Sweden.


The project is supported by the European Union Seventh Framework Programme.



Image from http://www.volvopenta.com/marinecommercial/en-en/news/2017/june/bb-green-electric-commuter-ferry-awarded-electric-and-hybrid-pro.html

Electric ferries in Norway and Finland

"Ampere", operated by the Norwegian ship owner Norled is the world's first fully electrical car and passenger ferry. It started operating in May 2015, and has traveled a distance equivalent to more than 1.5 times around the equator. It travels six kilometers across the fjord 34 times a day, each trip taking around 20 minutes. Shifting from diesel propulsion to battery has reduced fuel costs by up to 60 percent. After "Ampere" Siemens has delivered several electric ferries including to Fjord1, who is the largest ferry operator in Norway. "Ampere" was the result of a competition in 2010 by the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Public Roads Administration, where succesful development of an electrical ferry would receive a 10 year concession.


Image by Siemens www.siemens.com/press






In June 2017, "Elektra" began its regular operation between Nauvo and Parainen in the Turku archipelago in Finland. At nearly 98 meters long and 16 meters wide, Elektra can transport up to 90 cars per trip when traveling the route every 15 minutes. The batteries are charged in five minutes. The two lithium-ion batteries each have a capacity of 530 kWh.








Image by Siemens www.siemens.com/press

 Electric container barge to connect Rotterdam (B) and Tilburg (NL)

Two battery-electric container ships to be owned by Port-Liner and hired by logistics company GVT are expected to connect Rotterdam, the Netherlands and Tilburg, Belgium from autumn 2018. Sized 110m x 11.4m it can carry up to 270 containers in inland waterways. The battery packs are expected to operate up to 34 hours and stored in a container can either be swapped or charged at a terminal. Port-Liner intends to build a total of 15 electric-powered cargo ships of different sizes, to join ship fleets in the Netherlands and Belgium. 


The first six electric container ships are estimated to remove 23,000 trucks from the roads annually in the Netherlands.

The project is supported by the European Union.

Image from https://electrek.co/2018/01/12/large-tesla-ships-all-electric-barges/

World’s first fully electric and autonomous container ship (Norway)


Yara Birkeland is the world’s first fully electric and autonomous container ship with zero emissions. Propelled by electric motors driving two azimuth pods and two tunnel thrusters with a battery capacity of 7.0 – 9.0 MWh. 

The ship will have a cargo capacity of 120 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units), operating between Herøya and Brevik (~7 nautical miles) and between Herøya and Larvik (~30 nm) at a service speed of 6 knots.

Image from https://www.km.kongsberg.com/ks/web/nokbg0240.nsf/AllWeb/4B8113B707A50A4FC125811D00407045?OpenDocument

In the first phase a detachable manoeuvring and navigation bridge will be implemented. When the ship is ready for autonomous operation this module will be lifted off. Delivery into full operation is expected in 2019 and fully autonomous operation in 2020.zeroemission

Image from https://www.km.kongsberg.com/ks/web/nokbg0240.nsf/AllWeb/4B8113B707A50A4FC125811D00407045?OpenDocument



Task 38 on e-Ships concentrates on the following objectives:

  • Provide a leading network and platform on e-Ships for policymakers, researchers and industry bridging ’blue’ maritime, ’green’ energy, e-mobility including energy system, charging and automation perspectives
  • Document international e-Ships success cases in a common format
  • Overview, characterize and showcase technology, economics, policies, energy and environmental aspects, applications and market potentials
  • Look for segmentation, convergence and scaling of supply and demand
  • Analyze and document the current and future perspectives for e-Ships
  • Develop methods for data collection and key figures for modelling, for EU Directive on Infrastructure, for IEA, EVI etc.
  • Concentrate knowledge and data into policy relevant information to advance adoption and market acceptance of e-Ships



Task 38 e-Ships started October 2017 and will end February 2020.



Denmark, United States of America are founding countries. New members are encouraged to participate.

Canada, Netherlands, Norway, Japan and Chile have shown interest to become members.

As the new technologies move closer to the commercial marketplace, the role of the private sector within HEV TCP is growing. Several Tasks (projects on special topics) include industry experts along with HEV TCP’s traditional participation from governmental and research organizations.

HEV TCP welcomes countries, cities, organizations and industry that will both benefit from and contribute to the sharing of information and resources which is done in the Tasks.

Members will collect data about technology, projects, policies, economics, environmental aspects, etc. from their countries and regiones around the world.



Becoming a member of Task 38 is free of charge. Participating parties and countries are expected to provide information or relevant contact persons on e-ships related to their own country or region. Please contact the Operating Agent for more information.

Attendees at the meetings are kindly asked to cover their own costs linked to participation (i.e., salaries, travel expenditures, accommodation, etc.) as in any IEA Task. Contact the Operating Agent for more information.

The work of the operating agent is partly supported by the Danish Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Programme.



Task 38 will offer a global network and platform for building and sharing knowledge and data about e-ships, including technology, policies and measures, standardization, environmental and industrial perspectives.

Members will get the opportunity to learn about key stakeholders, best practices, latest developments and implementation measures aimed at successful commercialization of e-ships technology.

New projects, accelerated deployment and pooling of demand for more segmented serial production could be facilitated by network between interested industry and demanders from countries, islands, cities, industry etc.