Illustration of the LNG-fuelled type of vessel (Source: Volkswagen Group)

Volkswagen continues to switch to low-emission fleet

German carmaker Volkswagen has placed charter guarantees which have generated orders by other shipowners for four car carriers with dual-fuel engines using liquefied natural gas (LNG). By replacing diesel ships Volkswagen aims to be the first automaker to transport most of its new vehicles overseas. They will enter service by the end of 2023, serving the North American route between Emden in Germany and Veracruz in Mexico.

Volkswagen Group Logistics says that exclusive long-term charter 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 ships are being built by unnamed yards in China.

They each have a capacity of around 7,000-car equivalent units, which corresponds to between 4,400 and 4,700 vehicles from the Volkswagen Group’s model mix. The car carriers will be powered by 13,300-kW dual-fuel engines from MAN Energy Solutions and, in eco-speed mode, will be able to achieve speeds of 15 to 16 knots. The two-stroke engines from MAN Energy Solutions use a high-pressure technology that results in virtually no methane slip, making the new chartered ships especially climate-friendly, Volkswagen says.

The further decarbonisation of Volkswagen group shipping will result in substantial carbon dioxide reductions, with the use of liquid gas enabling Volkswagen to cut the ships’ carbon dioxide emissions by up to 25%. Eleven car carriers operate exclusively for Volkswagen, the company states. In the future, six of them will be powered by LNG. Two of the eleven chartered vessels on the European coastal routes are powered by biofuel.

Article Editorial staff Ship&Offshore
Article Editorial staff Ship&Offshore