Electric power systems similar to those used on the road are helping marine operators cut emissions and save on fuel and maintenance costs.
San Francisco Bay sightseeing company Red & White Fleet has been using BAE Systems’ HybriGen power system in its vessel Enhydra.
The electric-hybrid technology, which Red & White has used since 2018, has resulted in fuel savings of 35% for the 128ft excursion vessel by only using its combustion engine some of the time.
Other operators are beginning to use the electric-hybrid technology, including Kitsap Transit on its passenger ferry Waterman in Port Orchard, Washington state, and Call of the Sea in San Francisco, California, which is using the technology to power a 132ft ship teaching young people about maritime history.
The 70ft Water-Go-Round catamaran is expected to make its maiden voyage this year using a combination of hydrogen fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries to drive electric propulsion motors.
East Coast vessels have also used the BAE technology for complete electric power, including Harbor Harvest, which is using the system on its vessel Captain Ben Moore for short sea shipping between Connecticut and New York on the Long Island Sound.