Battery Powered Container Ships: It’s Time to Get Serious



Mark Sisson, PE, Senior Port Planner, AECOM


For small vessels such as ferries the battery age is already here with multiple boats running on battery electric power such as those witnessed in Norway. Battery powered containerships will begin at the small end of the scale, with projects such as the ‘Portliner’ electric inland barge in the Netherlands, and the Yara Birkeland project for dedicated factory-to-port shuttle runs in Norway using a vessel of 120 TEU capacity. This paper focuses on the other end of the size scale and investigates the possibilities to run large container ships via battery electric power.

One of the key complaints regarding the use of batteries from designers of cars, trucks, and especially aircraft , is that they are too heavy. Fortunately, when compared to other vehicles types that are currently working towards battery electric fleet deployment such as drayage…

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