BC Ferries will have four new electric ferries

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In November 2023, BC Ferries issued a notice of interest to build seven new hybrid ferries.

Photo: The Canadian Press / Darryl Dyck

Radio-Canada

Published yesterday at 11:49 p.m. UTC

The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) is lending $75 million to BC Ferries to purchase four zero-emission ferries and install electric charging infrastructure.

In a press release, it indicates that it has reached an agreement with the British Columbia Ferry Company which is developing the electrification of its fleet.

According to BIC, upgrades to ferry terminals are to be completed by 2027. Electric ferries will operate shorter journeys with smaller numbers of passengers.

The federal company says this is part of the plan to BC Ferries aiming to replace its existing fleet with quieter and more environmentally friendly vessels.

The ships are expected to reduce greenhouse gases by around 9,000 tonnes each year. Existing hybrid (electric-diesel) ferries will operate alternative routes to replace those that have reached the end of their lifespan.

Six hybrid ferries have been put into service in the last two years, according to BC Ferries. They are equipped with technology that bridge the gap until dockside charging infrastructure is available.

There BIC says the loan will cover the costs, higher than the initial costs, of the four ships compared to diesel. It will also cover the necessary charging infrastructure.

There BIC also indicates that loan repayment will come from passenger fares and retail.

With information from The Canadian Press

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