The ferry company already operates England’s first hybrid energy ship, Victoria of Wight, which entered into service between Fishbourne and Portsmouth in 2018. The vessel’s carbon emissions are 20% lower than a diesel-powered ship.
Now, Wightlink is drawing up specifications for its next new ferry on the route. Advances in sustainable technology mean it will be possible to commission a new ship that will use electric power from batteries to an even greater extent than at present by Victoria of Wight.
Although there are still obstacles to be overcome, Wightlink hopes that shore power can be used to charge batteries, enabling full electric operation to become a reality.
It takes 5 years to draw up plans, seek tenders and build a new ferry for the busy Solent crossing- meaning it could be 2026 before a replacement for the ageing St Faith – which is already 31 years old – is in service.
Keith Greenfield, Chief Executive, says:
“Our aim is to operate England’s first all-electric ferry. We are working with our naval architects and technology companies to come up with the best solution to operate ferries with the lowest possible impact on the environment.”
During COP26 (31st Oct-12th Nov), Wightlink will feature in a UK Government video series about Climate Leaders. Senior Master Captain Sam Mitchell talks about how climate change is changing the world around us and how sustainable technologies, such as hybrid energy, can make a difference.
VIDEO: Watch Captain Sam Mitchell talk about climate change…
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