Plymouth Boat Trips and Voyager Marine have launched the UK’s first sea-going electric ferry, named e-Voyager. The electric ferry was developed in partnership with the University of Plymouth, the University of Exeter, Teignbridge Propellers, MarRI-UK and EV Parts. Testing is now underway.
While the ‘green’ ferry will now undergo rigorous running trials, the passenger launch on Plymouth Boat Trips’ ferry is scheduled for operations on routes from April 2021. Plymouth City Council also agreed to install three 22 KwH chargers on the Barbican Landing Stage, which they claim “will take under three hours to achieve a full charge.” The researchers also claim that the repurposing method used in the electric ferry can be used on any vessel under 24 meters long. The e-Voyager electric ferry itself uses repurposed Nissan Leaf battery after undergoing several months to be “completely rebuilt”. While the charging is planned to suffice from a simple overnight charge, there are options to recharge while berthing, should the need arise.
“Through our diverse mix of staff and specialisms, the University of Plymouth has supported Plymouth Boat Trips and its partners in both data analysis and regulatory advice,” said Dr Richard Pemberton, Lecturer in Mechanical and Marine Engineering Design at the University of Plymouth, adding: “The University firmly believes that the work conducted on e-Voyager will pave the way for larger scale innovation towards meeting the Government’s target of a 50% reduction in emissions from the maritime sector by 2050.”
Funding for the project was procured from several sources: Help from the £1.4million Clean Maritime Call: a Maritime Research and Innovation UK (MarRI-UK) initiative supported by the Department for Transport (DfT) and launched to support the UK’s goal of zero emission shipping. Further support came from the £6.4million Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab and the £4million Marine Business Technology Centre, both part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.