British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. continues to roll out its Clean Futures Plan by awarding Damen Shipyards Group the contracts to build four additional battery electric-hybrid Island Class vessels.
The initial two battery electric-hybrid vessels, ordered by BC Ferries in 2017, have successfully completed sea trials and will arrive in Victoria, B.C., by this January. The four additional ships are scheduled to be built in time to go into service in 2022. When electric charging technology matures to make electricity available in the quantities required, BC Ferries will operate all of these new vessels using much cleaner electric energy full time.
By replacing one larger ship with two smaller vessels on some routes, BC Ferries increases its service frequency, passenger capacity per hour, and reduces vehicle lineups and congestion on local roads. It also eliminates the need to consume more greenspace in order to increase the size of terminal holding compounds by instead moving the larger traffic volume through the same amount of space.
The Island Class vessels will have a number of key features that support the company’s goal to be efficient and environmentally responsible throughout its system. They include: