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Vindskip is the world’s greenest deep-sea car carrier

Published 17 Oct 2022 (updated 3 June 2024) · 2 min read

Quick information

At a glance

  • Harnesses wind energy for propulsion
  • Flexible dual LNG and LBG propulsion system
  • Winner of the 2020 German Design Award

The innovative Vindskip® design features a large hull that acts as a giant sail. Once built, this pure car truck carrier will offer the lowest emissions in its market segment.

For many decades, international shipping has been running on heavy fuel oil. This is causing ocean acidification, acid rain and other negative environmental impacts.

Exhaust gases from ships are also causing premature death in humans worldwide. Consequently, the use of heavy fuel oil must be reduced.

The UN Maritime Organization (IMO) has therefore implemented a strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2050. It has also introduced the Sulphur 2020 cap to cut emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).

Low-emission pure car and truck carrier

The Vindskip® design features a dynamic fuel-saving system using wind, cruise control and weather routing. Together, these can yield an estimated reduction in fuel consumption of up to 60 per cent.

The hull itself acts as a giant sail, harnessing wind energy to create propulsion and reducing drag by up to 75 per cent. The cruise control keeps the vessel cruising at a constant speed, regardless of wind availability. Finally, the highly accurate weather routing module calculates the optimal route for the ship to travel, in terms of fuel economy or ETA.

Vindskip® features a lightweight construction, which further reduces fuel consumption, while a highly stable underwater hull design virtually eliminates the need for ballast water.

Vindskip® is powered by a dual liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied biogas (LBG) propulsion system. The two fuels can be mixed, enabling bunkering of whichever one is available.

The concept has been tested in a wind tunnel and a towing tank under extreme conditions. The complete hull above the waterline has been optimised using computational fluid dynamics. Fuel consumption and route regularity have been well documented by repeated simulations using the weather routing module and historical weather data.

Concrete benefits

Vindskip® is a carbon-robust ship design that will remain competitive in the face of more stringent CO₂ regulations in the future. It exceeds current emission requirements and will meet all new regulatory aims through 2050.

Compared to a reference ship running on high sulphur fuel oil, Vindskip® will emit 63 per cent less CO₂, 96 per cent less NOx, and 100 per cent less SOx and particulate matter.

With a carrying capacity of 6 600 cars, Vindskip® will thus offer the lowest emissions of all deep-sea car carriers at competitive freight rates.

Market potential

The international market for deep-sea vehicle transport is undergoing a period of consolidation and the outlook for new, non-conventional car carriers is promising. In addition to being a low-emission vessel, Vindskip® has a flexible cargo hold configuration that can also be adapted for light-duty plug-in electric vehicles.

Developed by Lade AS, Vindskip® is the winner of the world-renowned German Design Award 2020 in the category Excellent Product Design – Conceptual Transport.

Terje Lade


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