Electrifying Boats To Reduce CO2 Emissions

DAN Europe Sustainable Tour has arrived in Norway

Due to its Viking heritage, Norway has a long history at the forefront of maritime navigation. Their ancient seafaring culture gives them an evolutionary advantage in the industry.

The country has led the electrification of automobiles. Today, only 15% of new cars are not electric. The creation of the Norwegian EV Association has played a fundamental role. For more than 25 years it has been working towards the successful introduction of electric vehicles and cooperating with the Norwegian government in the creation of policies and subsidies according to the objective.

With climate change increasingly evident, the country is moving forward to the next level: zero-emissions shipping. The Scandinavian country is rapidly electrifying its fleet of vessels. Since almost 99% of electricity production in Norway comes from renewable energy, electric boats are a great option to reduce CO2 levels that are also acidifying our Ocean.

Because of Norway’s vast experience in this field, we came here to learn from the experts. All the meetings were organised thanks to the collaboration of Norwegian SusTour Partner ‘TOOL‘, a platform that connects change makers, experts, innovators, entrepreneurs, clusters and corporations across the world who have the same purpose – making a sustainable impact within the ocean and renewable industries (to learn more watch here the interview we did with Birgit Liodden, founder and CEO).

During our first week, we met two young companies that are shaping the present and future of leisure boats. We interviewed Maria Bos, PLUG Managing Director Christer Ervik, KRUSER Co-founder & CEO.

Hopefully, these two companies can inspire new initiatives to help decarbonize the diving industry.

PLUG: Charging Stations And Networks For Electric Boats

Plug is a company that wants to contribute to speed up the construction of the necessary infrastructure that enables both ships and smaller boats to connect to shore power and/or charging power while at berth. We are a technology neutral player, and we both build, operate and own the infrastructure, offering shore power or charging power as a service to our customers. As of now, we are only present in Norway, but our ambition is to build both chargers and shore power also in European ports and marinas.

  • How does PLUG contribute to a healthier Ocean?

The maritime industry has a lot of work to do to reduce emissions. For larger ships, connecting to shore power while at berth reduces both emissions and noise. In 2020 the customers that used Plugs shore power facilities in Bergen, Norway, saved the city from more than 8500 tonnes of CO2. For smaller boats, there is a possibility to be fully electric – also while at sea. There are already a number of electric boats on the market, and new models are coming. These boats need chargers – both for over night charging and super charging to further increase the travel distance. Plug makes this possible!

  • What is the current state of the electric-boats charging infrastructure in Europe, what are your future plans to expand it and what do you need to achieve this?

“As of now, there are not many maritime charging stations around Europe but the number is increasing. Norway is really at the forefront with all types of electrification, with a record high EV-share, many fully electrified ferries and many ports with shore power capabilities. Our business is built on this know. We have only just started with maritime charging, but we have ambitions to expand further” – says Maria Bos, Managing Director.

  • Is there any synergy between the diving industry and the development of PLUG’s activities?

Absolutely! We provide the infrastructure that makes electric boating possible. As many of the most popular dive sites are accessible by boat, being also vulnerable places that we must preserve, electric boats are a more environmentally friendly option to use while diving.

Kruser: A Boat Pool With Only Emission-Free Boats

Kruser is a company that sells memberships in a boat pool with only emission-free boats. A ‘pool’ is based on several people having access and the opportunity to use the same object. When a pool is well organized, the resources will be utilized optimally and create benefits for both the users and the environment. 

Customers pay a fixed annual fee for access throughout the season and can use the boat as much as they want. Kruser takes care of all the practical work related to the boats.

Their vision is to create a worry-free boating life for people and the environment. The mission is to offer personal and local boating experiences, which makes it more attractive to share a zero-emission electric boat, than it is to own or rent a fossil alternative. They are working towards a 10 year goal, which is to make the sharing of zero-emission boats the new norm for boating by 2030.

  • What is Kruser operating process? How does it work?

We buy several electric boat models and place them in different harbours. Our members can book boats when they want in all the different locations. Alle the boats are 100% electric and emission free. Our team takes care of the boats and makes the experience easy and carefree for all our members. 

In addition to making the sea more accessible to more people, we are concerned that knowledge, competence and safety are safeguarded. That is why we have a dedicated team that provides courses, training and follow-up of our members throughout the season. This strengthens the security and experience our members have of boating at sea.

  • How does Kruser contribute to a healthier Ocean?

Kruser makes the ocean healthier by using only emission free boats. We make access to boats easy and environmentally friendly for people – so that you can still enjoy life at sea without damaging the ocean and surrounding environment. In this way we contribute to making it easier to make good choices for the ocean without losing the experience. 

In the beginning the most important factors have been a focus on sharing emission free boats, changing the user patterns and making the threshold lower for most people. In the long run, the focus will also be even more on environmentally friendly production of boats, reuse of resources and ensuring that all products and materials are of the best quality for the environment. The boats we buy now will last for many years and benefit thousands of people.

  • What are Kruser’s future plans?

Future plans are to achieve our 10 year goal and make sharing of zero-emission boats the new norm for boating by 2030. To make this possible we have to deliver superior service and experiences to all our customers, and make our boats available in every harbour city in Norway, and also internationally.  

For us, it is important to be an experience company that creates exceptional experiences for all our members every time they are at sea. We will be the best options for everyone who wants access to the sea and do everything we can to ensure that the environmentally friendly choice is also the best personal choice.To achieve this, it is also important that incentives at the financial and political level also have a focus on making environmentally friendly choices the best choice for everyday people.

  • Is there any synergy between the diving industry and the development of Kruser’s activities?

Divers need boats to get out to sea. If they want to do this the most sustainable way electric boats is the answer. Sharing a boat and having boats at several locations also makes it more available for the divers without taking up unnecessary space in harbours – and the boats can be ready when they need them. 

“The most important thing is to think about the future. If divers are to have anything to do in the time ahead, we have to take care of the sea and life on the bottom. A dead dirty sea will make diving life unnecessary and unattractive. We must take care of life in the sea and maintain it green, blue, beautiful and vibrant” – says Christer Ervik, Co-founder & CEO.

For more info visit plugport.no or kruser.no