The small island called Ærø (Aeroe), with a flag very similar to the Rastafari flag and the world's largest Solar Panel Plant along with a bunch of windmills all over the island, is expanding its green profile.
The latest great news from Ærø is their new little armada of Electric Cars. Since the Island is rather small, one never needs to run out of energy as there are chargers installed in strategic places.
The cars can be rented from the local tourist agency during the summer when the island is packed with tourists that flock the almost too good to be true romantic and lovely little Danish Micro Cosmos of classic Danishness and cozyness. The rest of the year the cars are used by the municipality for hospice services around the island. One could say that we all live on an island. The island we move around on a daily basis; Home, work, shopping, school and close friends. Most of these places are withing a "island radius" and it it is really here the electric car is perfect. If they all can just be charged by windmills on that island...
Ærø also has one of the most colorful Ferrys seen by mankind, painted by the Danish artist duo "Randi and Katrine". Life on Ærø revolves around the ferry; who is on it, who just came to the island, who is leaving, what happened on the ferry, if the ferry was on time and why the ferry sailing from Ærøskøbing (above) should be the main ferry for the whole island, and not the other ones from the other two villages (Marstal and Søby) on the island. This discussion has been ongoing for decades and was just ended by having two ferries going from Ærøskøbing to Svendborg, the new ferry being the old ferry from Marstal. From now on, hopefully the main discussions among the people of Ærø will be about how lovely the newly painted is and if they were ever to get a new ferry, it had to be electric running of the island's windmills or nothing else.
Siemens has come up with the world’s first all-electric car ferry to be delivered to Norway, which can transport 120 cars along with 360 passengers while sailing entirely on electric motors. The 80-meter vessel, dubbed ZeroCat 120, will be delivered with onboard batteries. Plans are being made on Ærø to bring a similar Electric Ferry to Ærø in the near future.
The electric ferry includes a battery weighing 10 metric tons, but overall the weight of the ferry is just half of the ferry of conventional design. One of the best features of the ferry is that it it can be recharged in just 10 minutes in the breaks between crossings. This feature was integrated in Norway because the local grid is not equipped to deliver such a large amount of power in a short duration. Therefore batteries have been installed at each port, which deliver power at a fast pace to the onboard batteries and then recharge themselves slowly from the local grid. On Ærø, where there is both plenty of Solar Power and Windmills, most likely the Electric Ferry will be charged by the power generated on the Island.
The above image was taken on Ærø in 2008 and was used for viral images for CO2 E - Race in the early stages of the project
More about Ærø HERE
Another set of photos and story about Ærø HERE