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Brief Published: 4 Feb 2021

Four Eco-Conscious Travel Transportation Innovations

Aurora Emotion

As we explain in Vehicles for the Staycation Era, the market for eco-conscious transportation is on the upswing. From sustainable safaris to greener cruises, we identify four pioneering options for climate-friendly travel.

  • Scotland’s Hydrogen-Powered Train: With the appeal of train journeys growing – see How Rail Will Change Travel for pre-pandemic thinking – Scotland is enhancing their environmental friendliness with its first hydrogen-powered train. A team of engineers will convert a British Rail Class 314 (suburban train) from depending on electricity to running on hydrogen. It’s projected to be in operation by the end of 2021, with the region’s remaining trains set to become hydrogen powered by 2035.

  • Kenya’s Electric Safari Car: Kenya’s Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust enlisted Sunreef Yachts – a Polish company that customises catamarans — to design an electric 4x4 for safari goers. The car relies on solar panels and is optimised to cover the most popular safari routes without needing to recharge – echoing the practical automotive considerations we highlight in The EV Evolution.

  • China’s Battery-Powered Cruise Ship: In November 2021, passengers on select cruises along China’s Yangtze river will set sail on an electric ship. This will boast the largest battery for an electric cruise liner to date, with a capacity of 7.5 megawatts per hour (roughly the equivalent of seven to 10 long-range electric cars). As more cruises look to target Gen Z – for whom green travel is a key value – such innovations will be critical to retaining loyalty.

  • Emissions-Free Snowmobiles: With travellers yearning for remote nature destinations, Finnish tour operator Aurora Emotion has invested in a fleet of battery-powered snowmobiles to make its Lapland trips greener. The vehicles have a maximum range of 25km, making them a suitable option for day tours.

For more on enticing travellers through sustainability, see Environmental Powerhouses in Architectural Optimism: Hospitality’s Bold Future.