The world’s first fully electric autonomous cargo vessel was unveiled in Norway, reports Tech Xplore. By shipping up to 120 containers of fertilizer from a plant in the southeastern town of Porsgrunn to the Brevik port a dozen kilometres away, the much-delayed Yara Birkeland, will reportedly eliminate the need for around 40,000 truck journeys a year that are now fuelled by diesel. “Electricity has a ‘niche’ use, in particular for ferries, as these are often short and stable routes, possibly on coastal and river transports. But it’s not well-adapted for long ocean crossings,” said Camille Egloff, a maritime transport expert at Boston Consulting Group. “Not only would (a vessel) need to be autonomous for long distances but you would also have to equip ports with battery chargers. So there are technical and infrastructure challenges that would need to be coordinated.” While dozens of electric ferries already criss-cross the fjords of Norway – a major oil and gas producer that is also a leader in electric transport – ocean liners will have to rely on other technologies to go greener, such as LNG, e-methanol, and hydrogen.