Wightlink plans first all-electric ferry to better its hybrid Victoria of Wight ship on Portsmouth to Fisbourne route

THE first all-electric ferry could soon sail the Solent.

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 11:05 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 11:48 am
Wightlink chief executive Keith Greenfield with England’s first hybrid energy ferry Victoria of Wight. Picture: Wightlink

Wightlink already runs a hybrid ship on its Portsmouth to Fishbourne route, but now wants to take a step further.

The Victoria of Wight vessel started on the service in 2018 and has cut carbon emissions by 20 per cent compared to diesel-only ships.

Now Wightlink is drawing up plans for England’s first all-electric ferry – although it will take five years before any such vessel could enter service.

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Chief executive Keith Greenfield said: ‘Our aim is to operate England’s first all-electric ferry.

‘We’re working with our naval architects and companies to come up with the best solution to operate ferries with the lowest possible impact on the environment.’

Many obstacles remain, but it’s hoped shore power will be enough to charge the future vessel. The company has cut its carbon footprint by a third since 2007, and reduced its emissions by 17 per cent in the four years before 2020.

by James Buckley

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