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Sanyo’s solar-powered container ship to curb carbon emissions

There’s good news for the environment this week. A trio of Japanese companies announced plans to make the auto industry cleaner, not by addressing the car-produced pollution, but through the high-tech refits of their leviathan transport ships.

The Hybrid Car Carrier project led by Sanyo, Mitsubishi and shipper Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), aims by 2012 to create a car container ship that relies on solar power for part of its journey.

In order to reduce CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, the group is working on a hybrid solar/diesel ship that uses photovoltaic solar panels laid out on deck to generate power during part of its voyage.

That power will be stored in massive lithium-ion batteries capable of pumping out up to 3,000kW/h –- enough to replace the output of the ship’s traditional engines, at least while docking in port.

Greg McNevin of Greenpeace International told us, “This is a positive development, as is any saving of CO2 emissions in the long run, but shipping is still extremely dirty.”

Read the rest of the story: Sanyo’s solar-powered container ship to clean up ‘dirty’ shipping.

Related article: Sanyo, Mitsubishi Get Working on Solar Powered Hybrid Car Carrier