As Road Transport Cuts Emissions so Similar Technology Now Powers Water Craft




Monday, May 18, 2020


Established Electric Power and Propulsion Systems Transfer to a Variety of Vessels
Shipping News Feature

US – WORLDWIDE – With the world suddenly aware of how dramatic a change can be achieved in air quality with reduced emissions due to traffic levels having dropped during the lockdown, the continued push for electrification on the roads is assured, and now those technologies already established are being seen on the water as well.

BAE Systems has installed its electric power and propulsion systems core technology in more than 12,000 buses around the world in cities such as Boston, New York, Paris, and San Francisco for more than 20 years. Now it has evolved its HybriGen® to take that expertise to the shipyard, helping operators make the switch from a combustion engine to electric or fuel cell power and propulsion for the vessels they build.

BAE says this is a quiet revolution enabling operators of a variety of vessel types, from offshore support craft to fishing fleets to access 200KWs of electric power on demand to eliminate maintenance of a standard diesel generator while decreasing space use and saving fuel and emissions.

One of the first to make the jump to the HybriGen system was the Red & White Fleet. The sightseeing company in San Francisco Bay is on the path to a greener future with its newest vessel Enhydra, which has been operating on electric-hybrid technology since 2018. Since then, the 128-foot excursion vessel has saved roughly 35% of its fuel, only needing to operate its combustion engine part of the time.

Staying on the West Coast, Kitsap Transit is using an electric-hybrid system for its passenger ferry, Waterman, which operates out of Washington State’s Port Orchard. In San Francisco, Call of the Sea is taking the unique approach of using the technology to power a 132-foot wooden tall ship that teaches young people about maritime history while promoting sea stewardship.

Just across the bay, the 70-foot Water-Go-Round passenger catamaran is expected to launch on its maiden voyage later this year with a combination of hydrogen fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries to drive its electric propulsion motors. BAE Systems technology is also providing three vessels on the East Coast with complete electric power. Harbor Harvest is using the system on their vessel Captain Ben Moore to create a new and sustainable form of short sea shipping. The environmentally friendly boat hauls locally made products and other cargo between Connecticut and New York on the Long Island Sound.

BAE says that there is a new vision for the future of marine transportation creating cleaner harbours and waterways with a technology that, fitted on those buses, already saves 22 million gallons of fuel and eliminates 250,000 tonnes of CO2 on the world’s roads every year.