Elliot Bay Design Group (EBDG) has been selected by Vigor Fab to provide functional design for a new fleet of hybrid-electric Olympic-class ferries to serve Washington State Ferries.
Early this year, the Washington State Legislature authorized Vigor to build up to five hybrid-electric versions of its 144-vehicle ferries, which will operate on all-electric power during crossings, but can switch to hybrid diesel-electric operation on demand. Recharging will take place when at dock and can be carried out during loading/ unloading procedures, and will use clean hydropower provided by Northwest.
The design phase is underway, with construction scheduled to begin in 2020, with the first delivery expected at the end of 2022. When completed, the new vessel is expected to be the largest newbuild battery-powered ferry in North America. EBDG has been involved with the last 20 vessels built for Washington State Ferries, and has worked on feasibility studies and lifecycle cost analysis for its Jumbo Mk II and Olympic-class ferries. Washington State Ferries already operates the largest ferry system in the USA, carrying 23 million passengers a year across 20 terminals.
“We have supported WSF with naval architecture and engineering support since 1992,” said Brian King, president of Elliott Bay Design Group. “Our involvement in the hybridization of the ferries is a natural progression that we are immensely proud to be a part of.”