Oil tankers and cargo ships are some of the biggest and most polluting vehicles on the planet.
Some of the world’s largest cargo ships emit pollution comparable to millions of passenger cars put together. The heavy fuel oil that they burn has high sulfur content, and therefore it is an important part of the world’s transportation industry that needs to transition to being battery-powered.
Last year, a consortium of Japanese companies announced that they were teaming up to develop the world’s first all-electric tanker. One of the companies, Asahi Tanker, announced that they ordered two of the new electric tankers and they plan to put them in operations as soon as March 2022 and March 2023.
Ironically, the all-electric vessels will be used to carry fuels for other vessels.
Interestingly, the vessel will also have a secondary use. Since its battery pack is so big, it will make its battery power available to emergency services in the case of a natural disaster in Tokyo.