Fishbourne Ferry is the first to operate a hybrid energy ship, Victoria of Wight. It provides services between Fishbourne and Portsmouth and was launched in 2018. The ship already contributed to 20% lower carbon emissions for them. Now Wightlink aims to bring more electric ships into the area. They aim to have zero carbon emissions and will move towards lowering carbon emissions as much as possible.
Advances in sustainable technology going on in the automobile industry are much better than the ones a few years ago. It would be possible to have a new electric ship that uses batteries. These ships could make much more impact than Victoria of Wight. There are certain challenges to this goal, charging infrastructure, and safety concerns in case of emergency. Wightlink says that they are hoping to take energy from the shore, which would make it more advanced than anticipated.
Though the announcement didn’t include any years or other time details. It is expected that by 2026 a few ships will be seen on the coast. Because, a typical plan, seeking tenders and building one usually takes five years. It would also be an ideal time to replace the old ferry which is already 31 years old.
Keith Greenfield, Chief Executive, said, “Our aim is to operate England’s first all-electric ferry. We are working with our naval architects and technology companies to come up with the best solution to operate ferries with the lowest possible impact on the environment.”