Highly innovative and sustainable maiden call: K Line's Car Carrier flag ship Drive Green Highway

News item


The world of maritime transportation is becoming smarter and cleaner. One of the world’s largest shipping companies that stimulates and contributes to this development, is Japanese shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. ("K" Line). K Line has developed a highly innovative and sustainable car carrier: the Drive Green Highway. K Line’s Drive Green Project flagship was christened in Yokohama (Japan) on February 14th of this year and today it visits the port of Amsterdam for a maiden call. Amsterdam is the first port in the Netherlands to welcome the Drive Green Highway.


With the Drive Green Highway, shipping company K Line is a precursor of the sustainable future of shipping traffic. On board this ship available innovative techniques converge to reduce the CO2 emissions with 25% (in comparison to conventional car carriers).

Tall, long and heavy cargo

With a length of 200 meters, a width of 37.5 meters and a depth of (at most) 9.9 meters, the Drive Green Highway can come up to a speed of 20 knots (service speed ca. 18 knots). The full-bottomed ship has a maximum capacity of 7,500 passenger cars. However, it also transports other types of cargo. The Drive Green Highway is a next-generation post Panamax car carrier suitable for the transhipment of tall, long and heavy cargo. Today it will unload excavators at the VCK Terminal/Waterland. Tomorrow it’s off to Teesport, England.

Drive Green Highway in motion

K Line produced an info animation showing the Drive Green Highway and all its innovative techniques. What catches the eye immediately is the modern design. Conventional car carriers are large, very sensitive to (cross-)wind and often referred to as big shoe boxes. The dynamic design of the Drive Green Highway reduces wind resistance and provides extra stability.

Sustainable technology

Another striking element is the collection of the 900 solar panels on deck. Together they generate enough electricity to power all the (LED)lighting on board. Other sustainable technologies contributing to the reduction of fuel consumption are: the use of a special coating which reduces the ship’s resistance with 20% and the design of the ship’s screw which increases the efficiency. Innovative techniques on board the car carrier result in less discharge of sulfur and nitrogen. K Line installed a SOx scrubber on board the Drive Green Highway which washes the ship’s fumes. Thanks to certain techniques in the engine the discharge of nitrogen is also substantially reduced.

Experimental garden for future applications

The Drive Green Highway is the first in the series of ten sustainable K Line Drive Green Project car carriers. The name of the ship refers to the sustainable character of the project and the ship. Only the first car carrier in the series is equipped with all mentioned innovative technologies and will function as an experimental garden for future applications.