BC Ferries is gearing up to launch its third and fourth battery electric-hybrid Island Class vessels, set to sail on the Campbell River – Quadra Island route.
The yet-to-be named ships will be added to the route in 2022. They’ll replace the existing Powell River Queen with a two-ship operation.
By replacing one larger ship with two smaller vessels, BC Ferries says customers will receive more frequent service, increased capacity per hour (from 59 to 94 vehicles per hour, on average), reduced vehicle line-ups, improved safety and reduced congestion on local roads.
The third vessel is currently being held at Damen Shipyard in Romania until scheduled sea trials start in February. It will then make its way to Point Hope Maritime in Victoria in summer 2021 for final preparations.
The Island Class is a battery-powered ferry with a number of key features that support BC Ferries’ goal to be efficient and environmentally responsible throughout its system.
The first two Island Class vessels were deployed on the Powell River – Texada Island route and the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula Island route in mid-2020. The fifth and sixth new ships will provide two-ship service on the Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island route in 2022.