BC Ferries to buy 4 new electric vessels with $75M federal loan

Click to play video: 'BC Ferries starts vessel replacement process'
BC Ferries starts vessel replacement process
We're getting our first look at what the next major vessels for BC Ferries could look like. The Crown corporation has unveiled plans for seven new ships by the end of the decade, but as Angela Jung reports, there's no guarantee they'll be built in B.C – Feb 27, 2024

Canada Infrastructure Bank is lending $75 million to British Columbia’s ferry service to help buy four zero-emission vessels and install electric charging infrastructure.

A statement from the federal Crown corporation says it has closed a deal with BC Ferry Services as the company expands the electrification of its fleet.

Click to play video: 'BC Ferries announces all-gender washrooms, free menstrual supplies'
BC Ferries announces all-gender washrooms, free menstrual supplies

It says terminal upgrades are to be completed by 2027 and the battery electric ferries will be used on small-volume and shorter routes.

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The federal agency says it’s part of BC Ferry Services’ plan to replace its existing fleet with quieter and more environmentally friendly vessels.

It says the vessels are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 9,000 tonnes each year, and existing diesel-hybrid vessels will be transferred to other routes to replace ferries that have reached the end of their operating life.

Click to play video: 'BC Ferries launches plan to avoid cancelled sailings'
BC Ferries launches plan to avoid cancelled sailings

Six hybrid electric Island class ferries have come online over the last two years and the BC Ferries website says the vessels are fitted with technology that “bridges the gap” until shore-charging infrastructure becomes available.

Canada Infrastructure Bank says the loan will cover the higher upfront costs of the four ferries compared with diesel, including the necessary charging infrastructure.

It says loan repayment will come from passenger fares and retail revenues.


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