The CFCM has officially set sail with a successful bid to develop the e-Voyager, the UK’s first fully electric Domestic Passenger Vessel in partnership with Plymouth Boat Trips, EV Parts, Plymouth University, Teignbridge Propellers and Voyager Marine Ltd. The project is funded through the Clean Maritime Call, from Maritime Research and Innovation UK (MarRI-UK) supported by the Department for Transport, which was launched to support the UK’s drive towards zero emission shipping.
The e-Voyager will offer clear environmental benefits: originally a conventional diesel boat, the Mermaid (in the above photo) will be converted to electric drive using repurposed Lithium ion batteries, which will drastically reduce both noise and air pollution from the vessel. What’s more, the new vessel won’t need any fuel and so will be much cheaper to operate. The motors, energy storage, control and charging systems will also be tested in a real-world environment, enabling the team to gain approval from regulatory bodies so they can be used in vessels across the sector and, eventually, carry passengers.
Through the ERDF-funded Marine Business Technology Centre, Brian Lambert, a University of Exeter Business Research Fellow, is helping EV Parts UK to integrate and optimise the new electric power train – from the batteries to the motors, and perhaps to wireless charging of the boat in the future. Brian said: “This project shows our commitment in reducing the GHG emissions in the UK and beyond, and in working with the Marine industry to develop new products and services.”
Work will begin imminently at Voyager Marine, and we expect the e-Voyager to be afloat alongside Plymouth Boat Trips’ existing boats, in late summer this year, followed by a 150-seat electric ferry in 2021.