February 2, 2018News
The founders of the electric ship aim to raise the bar in the tourism industry. So what is Brim Explorer? Brim is a hybrid-electric ship that will for most parts be run on electricity alone. The battery pack of 800 kwh is charged during the night and provides enough energy to run the electric engines for approximately 10 hours with a speed of 10 knots. – How did the idea of Brim Explorer emerge?
Brim-founders Agnes Árnadóttir and Espen Larsen-Hakkebo
– Me and my co-founder Espen worked with boat-tourism in Tromsø, Northern Norway. We experienced that boat tourism was ripe for a change in order to meet higher environmental standards as well as higher quality demands from the guest. Most of the ships operating in the sector today are either old diesel ferries or fishing vessels that are originally built for another purpose. We started playing with the idea of designing an electric sightseeing ship with the purpose of offering nature experiences. A ship that was unlike anything that has been built so far, Agnes Árnadóttir says. She is the co-founder and CEO, and grew up working in their family business, the first whale watching company in Iceland. They got in touch with the Norwegian designer Einar Hareide who immediately understood their thoughts and wishes. Together they worked out a design and contacted a shipyard in Ålesund.
Investing in green technology
– Part of our operation will be zero-emission, in addition to our strict environmental standards for all parts of the operation. This implies purchasing local food, minimizing the use of chemicals and plastic, and so on, Árnadóttir says. They have also decided to donate 1% of the yearly profit to an environmental organization working with ocean-related matters. – Brim can, and we believe it will create a shift by being a first mover with a new concept. Our hope is that more actors see the value of investing in green technology and take a more sustainable approach to tourism. It’s not only the environmental aspect, but as much the focus on quality, experience, and education, she says.
Charge with solar power
One of their goals is to create ocean-ambassadors all over the world, through education and first-hand experience. If they succeed, they believe that the bar is raised and more actors will follow.
– We will start operation in September, and the feedback from partners and sales agents has been overwhelmingly positive, and as a result of the high demand, we have ordered a second ship already.
It will be launched in April next year and will operate for the guests of Hurtigruten in Svalbard during the summer months. – In relation to that project, we are looking at ways to charge our batteries with solar power, as the sun shines 24/7 in the summer months that far north, Árnadóttir says.
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