BC Ferries, the Canadian and British Colombia based ferry operator, has after a major capital expenditure approval by the BC Ferries Commissioner, taken the next step towards the purchase of four new hybrid electric Island Class vessels with negotiations to begin now.

By 2027 the plan is that the four new vessels will enter service on the routes connecting Nanaimo Harbour and Gabriola Island (two vessels) and Campbell River and Quadra Island (two vessels), with corresponding electrical upgrades for shore-based rapid charging made to the four terminals on these routes.

The company states that the introduction of these four new vessels will take BC Ferries a step closer toward standardization of the fleet, which can help reduce the number of vessel classes the company operates and this in turn helps with the maintenance, refit, training and other operational activities.

The Island Class electrification project will also receive funding from the Government of British Columbia through the monetization of low carbon fuel credits that BC Ferries will earn under the Province’s Renewable and Low Carbon Fuel Requirements Regulation.

This project is estimated to reduce emissions by 10,000 tons of CO2 equivalent, supporting the Province’s CleanBC goals and bringing BC Ferries closer to its 2030 targets.

Nicolas Jimenez, president and CEO of BC Ferries, said that “BC Ferries proposed these four new hybrid Island Class vessels because added capacity is critical to helping us get people where they need to go efficiently and reliably,” and “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.”

Video credit: BC Ferries – Island Class ferries.