VIDEO: Governor visits Harbor Island to launch hybrid-electric ferry program at Vigor

(WSB photos/video)

2:01 PM: We are at the Vigor shipyard on Harbor Island, where Gov. Jay Inslee has just ceremonially launched the program that will build at least one hybrid-electric vessel for Washington State Ferries. There’s funding for one – $160 million – in the state transportation budget over the next 3 years, and the WSF Long-Range Plan recommends more. Construction of the first one starts in 2021. At least two WSF Jumbo Mark II vessels will be converted, too. More to come.

3:45 PM: Back at HQ. Video added – first, the governor; then, Vigor’s Frank Foti:

Also speaking, state Transportation Secretary Roger Millar:

WSF boss Amy Scarton was also there to unveil the ceremonial sign:

The diesel-electric Olympic-class ferry has the same price tag as the non-hybrid types, WSF says. The governor said their advantages include less noise, important for our region’s endangered orcas, for whom vessel noise is a critical problem.

Vigor already has built four ferries in the 144-car Olympic class.

9 Replies to "VIDEO: Governor visits Harbor Island to launch hybrid-electric ferry program at Vigor"

  • dsa September 9, 2019 (2:41 pm)

    Is Hybrid Electric the govs  green term for Deisel Electric?  choo choo train engines

    • WSB September 9, 2019 (3:00 pm)

      It’s not “the gov’s green term,” but yes, diesel will be the other fuel source. The diesel engines will recharge the batteries. They haven’t gotten to the point yet of plug-in recharging/

    • Jon Wright September 9, 2019 (6:00 pm)

      It’s going to have batteries so diesel-electric isn’t completely accurate.

  • Rick September 9, 2019 (6:53 pm)

    Is this guy still trying to stay relevant? If he ever was?

  • Mj September 9, 2019 (7:47 pm)

    Reducing our carbon foot print is important.  The Governor needs to walk the walk himself, his carbon foot print is far greater than the average Jack and Jill by far!  

  • dsa September 9, 2019 (9:54 pm)

    I hope the Coast Guard is on board with the batteries.

  • dsa September 9, 2019 (11:13 pm)

    The battery arrays on Washington ferries have to have the energy to power motors that replace what is propelling the ferries now, locomotive engines.  It’s been a long time, but I think I saw four locomotive engines below decks, two for each direction.   Maybe two were held in reserve, not sure.  At any rate the HP of even one locomotive engine represents tremendous use of battery power, size and consumption.

  • JVP September 12, 2019 (9:35 am)

    If I’m reading this right it isn’t much of a step forward. Just hybrid so the only fuel savings is probably idling at dock? Maybe they can go with more efficient engines with the battery boost.I’d love to read more. I wonder how much CO2 and particulate it saves over current diesel tech. Some of our older boats are dirty, and at the end of their engine service lives, so need an upgrade either way. Plug-in + diesel probably makes sense, when the tech is ready. On these routes that load super fast, battery-only is likely a long off since they would need to charge in 10 minutes. We’ll get there, and the fuel and maintenance savings should be substantial. 

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