One of BC Ferries new Island Class Hybrid electric vessels starts a three day trial run on the Campbell River – Quadra Island route on Thursday, Dec 3. The Island Aurora will undergoing tests for operational efficiencies, loading times and sailing intervals. The results will be used to help draw up schedules for 2021.
Island Class Hybrid electric vessels
According to the BC Ferries press release, “Customers travelling for essential reasons may sail on the Island Aurora on December 4 and 5 during the trial and regular fares will apply.”
The Island Aurora is destined for the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula route.
Half a dozen electric ferries are expected to be in service by 2022.
When Campbell River will get its e-Ferries
Campbell River will receive its own e-Ferries in early 2022, when two new Island Class Hybrid electric vessels arrive to replace the Powell River Queen.
“Bringing two new Island Class vessels to the route increases the daily passenger and vehicle capacity of the route and creates a positive economic impact in the community,” said Corrine Storey, BC Ferries Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “Two vessels also increases frequency and reduces wait times, and helps BC Ferries transition to a lower carbon future.”
These ferries are currently powered by a combination of electric, with 800 kWh of battery energy storage capacity, and low sulphur diesel. When the cost of energy storage becomes more economical, BC ferries plans to upgrade to 2,000 kWh and go fully electric.
Top photo credit: Island Aurora undergoing speed trials – courtesy BC Ferries