BC Ferries’ fifth battery-hybrid Island Class ferry arrives in Victoria this afternoon (Sept. 27) after a 59 day journey from Damen Shipyards in Romania.
The vessel, temporarily named Island 5, sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, through the Panama Canal and up the Pacific coast of North America to Vancouver Island.
About one-third of the voyage was completed by using battery power with the main engines stopped, proof the Island Class ferries will be able to operate as fully electric vessels once terminals have plug-in recharging capabilities, according to BC Ferries. The batteries were charged during the voyage by a diesel generator.
Upon arrival at Point Hope Maritime, final inspections will take place and BC Ferries will take ownership of the vessel, which will enter service next year. The sixth and final Island Class ferry in the series, temporarily named Island 6, will soon make the same trip from the shipyard to Victoria. The arrival of these new vessels will allow the Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island route to be serviced by two Island Class vessels starting in 2022, according to BC Ferries.