Battery technology has developed rapidly in recent years. Capabilities have increased while the price has been halved every second year. To say that this technology has attracted major interest would be an understatement. This area is witnessing an explosion. The market for batteries is enormous. Imagine laptops, mobile phones, cameras, cars, even bicycles – you name it. In the shipping industry, batteries have been regarded as something very promising and interesting.
A vessel of a certain volume will have space available for storing batteries. Even the weight of the battery packs is a minor problem. Until recently, the challenges have related to price, energy density and charging time. All three parameters are or soon will be solved. Prices have fallen signiﬁcantly due to larger production scale. New battery factories are being built and the increased production capacity will bring the prices down.
The capacity in each battery cell has increased. There is an enormous scientiﬁc effort going on all over the world to improve battery capacity, in both well-known technologies and, until recently, by exploring unknown materials. One issue here is the energy needed to produce a battery. In a life circle perspective, this will matter, and the industry has to take this perspective into consideration.
New batteries and new ways of charging them go hand in hand. By using induction, charging can start before the vessel has come “to a complete stop” as they say on an airplane after landing. The power transmitted through the charging device per period of time has also increased. A ferry carrying passengers and cars across