BYD Explorer No.1 Ro-Ro Ship Embarked on Maiden Voyage

Ever wonder why China is coming strong and fast on the world economic stage? I am sure there are multiple factors but I am guessing this has something to do with it: BYD Explorer No.1. Let me explain. BYD is, first and foremost, a maker of new energy vehicles (read: battery electric vehicles, or BEV), and BYD Explorer No.1 is, well, a seafaring vessel, specifically a roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) ship.

BYD Explorer No.1 Ro-Ro Ship Embarked on Maiden Voyage

For those who don’t know, a ro-ro ship is a type of cargo ship designed specifically to transport vehicles like automobiles. Typical ro-ro ships have ramps on the bow, stern, and/or sides to facilitate vehicles to roll on and roll off the vessel without external aids.

Obviously, BYD is not the only automaker to charter a cargo ship to export local vehicles to other countries; it is, however, the first Chinese manufacturer to build a cargo ship to do that. And it is not just any ro-ro ship. The Explorer No.1, which measures 199.99 meters (656 feet) long, is designed with sustainability in mind.

The ship is reportedly built with “green and intelligent shipbuilding technologies” and the final product is a dual-fuel vessel, feeding on LNG (liquefied natural gas) and conventional fuel. It is not electric though. Due to the long distances the ro-ro ship usually covers, battery-powered would not have been practical unless it is for short distances.

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Images: BYD.