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BC Ferries announces new hybrid Island Class vessels

BC Ferries says they are one step closer to providing four new hybrid electric Island Class vessels making it easier for passengers to travel through the ferry system. 

According to a media release, a major capital expenditure was approved by the BC Ferries Commissioner that would put the new vessels into service in 2027 on the routes connecting Nanaimo Harbour and Gabriola Island, as well as Campbell River and Quadra Island.  

The expenditure would also allow for upgrades at the four terminals for electrical upgrades for shore-based rapid charging on the routes. 

BC Ferries president and CEO Nicholas Jimenez says the announcement will help hold critical infrastructure together and improve customer experience. 

“As the Commissioner has noted in her decision, this project will deliver improved customer service, help lower our costs related to crewing and training and contribute to safe and reliable service for passengers up and down the coast.” 

BC Ferries says passenger load will greatly increase when the vessels are deployed to address current and future needs by adding 20 per cent on the Crofton to Vesuvius route. Campbell River to Quadra Island will also see an increase in passenger capacity of 70 per cent. 

The existing relief vessel will be redeployed to the Denman to Hornby route year-round. 

They estimate the addition of electric ferries will reduce emissions by 10,000 tons of CO2 equivalent, and support the province’s CleanBC goals, and bring BC Ferries closer to the 2030 targets. 

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