BC Ferries’ first hybrid-electric vessel to take maiden voyage today

BC Ferries Island Discovery hybrid electric

BC Ferries’ latest ship, which arrived on Vancouver Island in January after a 2-month journey from Romania, is finally set to take its maiden voyage, with passengers, on June 10.

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The ‘Island Discovery’ will depart from Powell River on its way to Texada Island for the scheduled 3:00pm sailing later this afternoon.

The ferries are designed to be fully electric in the future, but for now will operate on a hybrid system of diesel and electric power, helping to reduce emissions during sailings.

BC-Ferries-Island-Discovery-Battery
Image courtesy BC Ferries – one of the two 400 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery banks on each Island Class vessel, supplied by Richmond-based Corvus Energy

According to BC Ferries, once sufficient funding is in place and shore infrastructure built to allow for the charging of the vessels between sailings, they will be converted to become fully electric.

The new ferry will be able to carry up to 47 vehicles and up to 392 passengers and crew, depending on the configuration.

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The second hybrid vessel, the ‘Island Aurora’, will join its sister ship next week as it begins service on the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula route.

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