Two hybrid electric ships set to join BC Ferries’ fleet

WatchDrone footage of the two hybrid electric ships en-route to B.C.

Two hybrid electric ships are currently en-route to British Columbia to join the BC Ferries’ fleet.

According to a BC Ferries press release, the ships departed from Romania on November 20 and the company estimates it will take approximately 40-45 days to make the Transatlantic trek to British Columbia.

The ships will be transported on a semi-submersible vessel, that sinks itself partially into the water in order to allow the on and off-loading of the ships, says the release.

The two vessels are labeled as ‘Island Class,’ meaning they are battery equipped for full electric operation. The new designs will also have hybrid capabilities that will be used until shore charging infrastructure is installed.

On the BC Ferries website, it outlines that the new Island Class will carry 47 vehicles and 300-450 passengers and crew. Other key features will include twin propellers to reduce underwater noise, an exhaust system that reduces emissions, a heat recovery system that uses waste thermal energy, and LED lights. According to BC Ferries, the boats will also be fully accessible without elevators.

Upon arrival, the BC Ferries release says they will execute a final inspection on the ships and anticipate them being deployed by mid-2020. The hybrids will be operating on the deployed on the Powell River – Texada Island and the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula routes.

The BC Ferries have also said that on top of the two incoming vessels, they will be deploying four more by 2022. Written on the BC Ferries website, it says “the Island Class ferries are part of our move towards standardizing our ferry fleet.” The company suggests that these new ships will help produce a more consistent customer experience while providing flexibility during unexpected challenges and lower costs for maintenance and training purposes.

Customers can track the progress of the ships’ journey at




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