Auriga Leader

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Career (Singapore) Flag of Japan
Name: Auriga Leader
Operator: Nippon Yusen, Nippon Oil
Completed: 2008
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Car carrier
Tonnage: 18,758 metric tons (deadweight tonnage)
60,213 gross tons
Length: 199.99 m (656.1 ft)
Beam: 32.26 m (105.8 ft)
Depth: 34.52 m (113.3 ft)
Capacity: 6,200 cars

Auriga Leader is a car carrier owned by Nippon Yusen used for shipping Toyota cars from Japan to USA. It is the first large ship to have auxiliary power partially supplied by photovoltaic panels.


Nippon Yusen and Nippon Oil developed the Auriga Leader partly as an experimental vessel, where it is supposed to gather statistical research in how solar power can assist in powering a ship at sea. The ship's experimental stage has been planned for two years, and has as of September 8, 2009 completed 7 months of that period.[2]


The solar panels produced 1.4 times more energy on the ship at sea than on land in Tokyo. It is not known what factors are having an impact on this, but it is suggested that being at sea means more sunlight and that the wind encountered cools off the panels and thus increasing efficiency.[2]


The Auriga Leader's solar power capabilities produced as anticipated 0.05% of the ship's propulsion power and 1% of its electrical usage. This will contribute to lowering the ship's fuel usage by approximately 13 tons and its CO2 output by 40 tons.[2]