In an age when they started building world’s first mass-produced electric car, the LEAF, Nissan now wants to go even greener by modifying the cargo ships they transport their cars with. The new cargo is called “Nichioh Maru” and uses solar panels to power its LED lighting system.
Another improvement to it is a low-friction hull coating and a more efficient diesel engine (which I think makes most of the fuel savings). The improved, electronically-controlled engine and the 281 solar panels installed on top of the boat will save 1,400 tons of fuel per year. This will account for 4,200 tons of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere.
Nichioh Maru started its car-carrying quest on January 27 and has enough space to bear 1,380 cars as they are delivered along the Japanese coast to Oppama Wharf, Kobe and Kyushu six times per week.
However, the LEAF is already being transported by a fuel-efficient cargo ship, called “The City of St. Petersburg.” Nichioh Maru will be operated by Nitto Kaiun Corporation, one of Nissan’s main sea transport partners.