Hurtigruten Svalbard testing new hybrid vessel
Hurtigruten Svalbard has teamed up with Volvo Penta to test a new hybrid vessel allowing guests to experience the Arctic Archipelago without disturbing the habitat.
The near-silent, Marell M15 cruiser called ‘Kvitbjorn’ (polar bear in English) will allow for fully electric operation in the waters around Svalbard, which is hugely popular with nature-loving adventure travellers.
CEO of Hurtigruten Group Daniel Skjeldam said: “We are thrilled to be working with Volvo Penta which is taking sustainable engineering to a whole new level. As one of the biggest employers on the archipelago, our Hurtigruten Svalbard team continue to lead the charge in finding innovative ways and partnerships to enable our guests to get even closer to nature.”
Among Kvitbjorn’s features is a hydraulic clutch that allows silent and smooth shifting at low engine speeds, which is perfect for slow cruising when wildlife watching.
The Marell M15 boat has a top speed of 32 knots and a cruising speed of 25 knots.
It is robust enough to operate in the demanding Arctic environment and to run in sub-zero temperatures.
The companies will also test a new pay-by-the-hour business approach.
It will be the first time Volvo Penta tests out the concept of “e-mobility as a service” while Hurtigruten Svalbard will trial paying by the kilowatt-hour for operation.
The concept could revolutionize investing in marine e-mobility solutions.
Hurtigruten Svalbard plans to test the Marell M15 day cruiser in May 2022.
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