World’s first electric container ship: Global fertiliser firm Yara and technology group Kongsberg combine their forces to build the first autonomous, electric container feeder ship. Named YARA Birkeland, the vessel will reduce diesel-powered truck journeys by some 40,000 a year. Operation is to start in the second half of 2018 in Norway. The ship will initially be manned, but is to move to autonomy from 2019 until it will self-steer entirely by 2020. The makers call it a “game-changer for global maritime transport” and estimates say one large tanker emits as much CO2 as 50m cars.
reuters.com, greencarcongress.com, video
Panasonic speeds up EV development: Known for its batteries rather than cars, Panasonic has joint Japanese Azapa in its task to develop a software said to halve R&D for EVs by reducing the need for prototypes. The programme’s algorithms are able to model and estimate performance and characteristics like power consumption and range based on the conduct of different parts. By involving itself in the design process at an early stage, Panasonic hopes to open markets for its components beyond batteries. Support for all standards in the U.S., Europe and China is to be incorporated soon.
The Tesla solar roof tiles are ready and on sale with immediate effect, Elon Musk tweeted. At least this is true for the first two versions, with two more types to tile houses from early 2018.
Proterra package: The electric bus maker has launched some additions like the Proterra Diagnostic Tool together with the Proterra Cold Weather Package for improved efficiency of electric buses. Furthermore, Proterra joined the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County to bring about an autonomous driving programme.
prnewswire.com (efficiency), businessinsider.com (autonomy)