World’s biggest EV maker BYD takes delivery of first car carrier

BYD, a China-based electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer that overtook Tesla as the world’s biggest EV seller in 2023, has taken delivery of its first car carrier which is dual-fueled.

CIMC Raffles

The maiden voyage ceremony for BYD Explorer No.1, the 7,000 CEU LNG dual-fuel pure car, truck carrier (PCTC), was held on January 15 at the Port of Shenzhen.

Built by CIMC Raffles, a subsidiary of China International Marine Containers (CIMC), the newbuild is the first car carrier built at a Chinese yard that will transport domestically produced cars.

“The BYD Explorer No.1 is the first ships belonging to CIMC Raffles’ 7,000 CEU car carrier series. In the future, we will continue to strengthen technological innovation and work closely with partners to reduce carbon emissions and make greater contributions to the green development of the global shipping industry,” Li Minggao, Vice President of CIMC Raffles, commented.

BYD Explorer No.1 was delivered last week at the shipbuilder’s Longkou base in Shandong before sailing to Yantai RoRo terminal to be loaded with new electric vehicles.

Carrying 5,449 new vehicles on board, the PCTC has embarked on its maiden voyage to Europe, heading to the ports of Vlissingen in the Netherlands and Bremerhaven in Germany.

The ship was built for the US-based shipping company Zodiac Maritime and leased to BYD as the first unit in the car maker’s ocean-going fleet.

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BYD Explorer No. 1 features a length of 199.9 meters, a width of 38 meters, a design draft of 8.6 meters and a speed of 19 knots.

The giant vessel has 13 decks and looks like a “floating three-dimensional garage”, according to CIMC Raffles.

It is equipped with two sets of C-type LNG storage tanks and uses liquefied natural gas as the main fuel for the main engine and generators, significantly reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides. The C-type LNG fuel tanks were custom built by CIMC Pacific Offshore Engineering, a subsidiary of CIMC Enric.

In addition, the car carrier is equipped with low-resistance methylsilane antifouling paint technology that can reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions by up to 5%.

CIMC Raffles

This energy-saving, environmentally friendly, and efficient car carrier is classed by the classification society DNV.

The energy-efficiency design of the entire ship enables carbon dioxide emissions to meet the International Maritime Organization (IMO) 2025 Phase III requirements ahead of schedule — a 30% reduction in the carbon intensity of new ships.

A new era for China’s auto export industry has begun

The delivery of BYD Explorer No.1 has marked the beginning of the era of China’s own transport of domestically built cars.

The ship will accelerate BYD’s car deliveries and help the company expand to overseas markets.

CIMC Raffles

The country’s government recently announced its strategic plan to promote the high-end, intelligent and green development of the manufacturing industry.

In 2023, China surpassed Japan and became the world’s largest automobile exporter. The increase in vehicle trade and the increasing share of pure electric/hybrid vehicles is expected to further drive the demand for car carriers.

It is worth noting that Chinese shipyards have won most of the world’s new orders for car carriers. In the first half of 2023 alone, Chinese shipbuilding companies took orders for 43 car carriers, accounting for 97.7% of the global market share at the same stage, according to Clarkson Research statistics.

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