Washington State Ferries begins hybrid electric retrofit programme on vessel trio

Wenatchee, a Jumbo Mark II-class vessel operated by Washington State Ferries (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Joe Mabel)

Washington State Ferries (WSF) has begun a programme to have three of its vessels converted from diesel to hybrid electric propulsion.

The propulsion upgrade design work for the company’s three 1990s-era Jumbo Mark II-class ferries was recently begun by Siemens and is expected to continue through to 2020. The actual conversion work will commence in 2021.

WSF expects the conversion of its Jumbo Mark II vessels will help reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 48,565 tonnes, the equivalent output of 10,000 cars, per year. NOx emissions are also expected to be reduced by as much as 184.5 tonnes per year once all three ferries are operating with hybrid electric propulsion.

The company has been selected to receive up to US$35 million in federal funding to carry out the retrofit.

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