Volkswagen Is The First Automaker To Use Low-Emission LNG Ships To Transport New Vehicles

July 23rd, 2021 by

Photo credit: Volkswagen

Volkswagen is the first automaker to transport most of its newest vehicles around the world using low-emission liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships. The German automaker was one of the first manufacturers to subscribe to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, with the goal of limiting global warming by 2050. Volkswagen has committed to e-mobility as well as to the sustainable production and use of new electric vehicles. Looking for new ways of contributing towards a cleaner future.

Simon Motter: “With these four additional LNG ships, Group Logistics is continuing its commitment to climate protection and pursuing the strategy of low-emission sea transport that was decided in 2016. The new ships will also permit the use of non-fossil fuels in the future, thus reducing CO2 emissions even further. Our aim is to make all our transport operations – by water, road, and rail – environmentally friendly, clearly demonstrating the Volkswagen Group’s pioneering role in climate-friendly logistics.”     

Exclusive long-term agreements have been signed with shipowners Wallenius Marine and SFL Corporation for the use of the four new car carriers on the North Atlantic route. The state-of-the-art ships are being built in China. They each have a capacity of around 7,000 CEU (car equivalent units), which corresponds to between 4,400 and 4,700 vehicles from the Volkswagen Group’s model mix. The ships will be powered by 13,300 kW dual-fuel engines from MAN Energy Solutions and, in eco-speed mode, will be able to travel at speeds of 15 to 16 knots (28 to 30 km/h).

In contrast to other LNG-powered marine engines, the two-stroke engines from MAN Energy Solutions use a high-pressure technology that results in virtually no methane slip, making the ships chartered by Group Logistics especially climate-friendly. The two LNG ships that came into service in 2020 are also equipped with this climate-friendly technology, which was a key factor in choosing these ships.

The use of LNG not only reduces CO2 emissions. It also cuts the emissions of nitrogen oxides by up to 30 percent, soot particles by up to 60 percent, and sulfur oxides by as much as up to 100 percent. The liquid gas-powered car carriers require no modification to be able to run on alternative non-fossil fuels such as biogas, e-gas from renewable sources, and biodiesel. 

Each year, Volkswagen Group Logistics organizes some 7,700 ship departures worldwide. As well as utilizing capacities on hundreds of scheduled cargo vessels, eleven car carriers operate exclusively for Volkswagen. In the future, six of them will be powered by LNG. Two of the eleven charter vessels on the European coastal routes are powered by biofuel. Each year, the Volkswagen Group ships 2.8 million new cars. The automaker understands what it takes to be part of the solution and not the problem. Interested in driving a Volkswagen? 

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