Toyota employs the Japanese hybrid solar powered vehicle carrier ship 'Auriga Leader'

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Friday, July 3, 2009

On Friday, a new generation solar powered cargo vessel, the Auriga Leader has docked in North America for the first time. Toyota Motor Corp will employ this car carrier for automobile shipments to Europe and North America from Japan. The vessel will be operated by the Japanese-based NYK Line.

Auriga Leader has 328 solar panels to provide 40 kilowatts, about 10% of the ship's power while sitting idling in dock. This amount of energy is the equivalent to the power used by ten average homes.

"This is the first ship to direct the solar power into the ship's main electrical grid. It's helping all of the time, and its helping with everything, like the ship's thrusters and the hydraulics for the steering gear," said Brian Mason, national manager of marine logistics and export for Toyota.

Green port

The panels are installed on the ship’s car-carrier, and then connected to the onboard 440 volt electrical network. Nippon Yusen K.K. and Nippon Oil Corp created the Auriga Leader's US$ 1.6 million innovative green technology solar power grid. The cargo ship has a length of 200 meters (656 ft) and gross tonnage of 60,000 GT, which is capable of carrying 6,400 automobiles.

Portion of the Port of Long Beach

Richard Steinke, executive director of the Port of Long Beach said of the joint demonstration project, "From our standpoint, it's another positive step," to reduce diesel emissions and the release of greenhouse gas.

Sources

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