A design for a 100% electric passenger ferry has been revealed before it is set to be deployed in a pilot scheme in the UK.
With a top speed of 38 knots (around 43mph), the EF-24 vessel produces “incredible” fuel savings of up to 85% compared to conventional high-speed diesel ferries, Artemis Technologies said.
The Belfast-based maritime design company said the 24m vessels will “fly above the water”, providing a comfortable ride for up to 150 passengers on board, mitigating effects of seasickness and producing minimal wake at high-speed.
Artemis Technologies has partnered with Condor Ferries to operate a pilot scheme using the first EF-24. It is set to come into service in 2024, running between Belfast and Bangor in Northern Ireland.
Olympic champion Dr Iain Percy OBE, the company’s founder, said the ferry will help address “air pollution, congestion, and noise”.
“We have combined our experience from the worlds of high-performance sailing, motorsports, aerospace, and advanced manufacturing to design and develop an electric propulsion system that is quite simply a game changer for the maritime industry,” he said.
“Especially where new infrastructure is required like a new road or rail line, this ferry will not only be the cheapest, but also the fastest and least disruptive way to decarbonise transport networks in water-based cities.”
This ferry is among several zero-emission vessels being developed by Artemis Technologies in Northern Ireland, designed to provide commercially viable green transport solutions for operators, cities and governments across the world.
In Scotland, HySeas III is a project that hopes to bring a ferry fuelled by locally produced hydrogen to the islands.
The development is being led by a consortium that includes CMAL, the University of St Andrews and Orkney Ferries.
Ongoing breakdowns, suspensions and cancellations to ferries are having a “catastrophic” effect on business and tourism in the Western Isles, islanders say.
They told STV News that CalMac’s ageing fleet was having a hugely damaging impact, in response to a key report highlighting the need for reform.