Canada to put electric ferries in operation at Ontario

Canada will soon be welcoming the first fully electric car ferries of North America as these ferries have already sailed from Damen Shipyard in Galati, Romania. The ferries named, Wolfe Islander IV and Amherst Islander II are 98m and 68m long and will be commissioned in Lake Ontario, upon their arrival by the Ministry of Transport for the Canadian province of Ontario. Super Servant 4 the 170 m long semi-submersible freight set sail at the end of August from the Black sea carrying these two electric ferries.

Both the ferries are fitted with two diesel generators and can be fully operated with electricity. As per the manufacturer, these ferries have the ice-class 1B hull and ice-class 1A azimuth propeller which will allow the smooth operation of the ferries at temperatures as low as minus 25 degrees. The Damen Shipyard has said that the charging process takes only ten minutes with an output of 6 megawatts. It is expected that by the end of 2021 the training of the crew will be complete and they will be able to operate the ferries in hybrid mode.

The delivery of these two ferries will mark the end of the first phase of the project. The second phase involves Damen Shipyard for the installation of equipment to enable shore power for ships.

Damen is setting up a service center in British Columbia so that along with its staff in Ontario, the company can provide extensive support for the ferries during the 16-month warranty period. It is expected that the ferries will convert into fully electric in the future and let go of their hybrid propulsion systems.

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