The United Kingdom’s first sea-going electric ferry, e-Voyager, has been launched in Plymouth and will begin a series of rigorous trials before entering service in April of next year.
The e-Voyager was launched on October 13 by Plymouth Boat Trips and Voyager Boatyards (under the name Voyager Marine, Cornwall) and uses re-purposed Nissan Leaf batteries to power a 400V motor which can deliver up to 1500RPM.
Off @LukePollard & @KerryMP go on @EVoyagerPlym the UKs first sea ferry a joint project with @PlymBoatTrips @PlymUni @UniofExeter @MBTCentre @TeignbridgeProp #MaritimeUKWeek pic.twitter.com/izeYrJtsCC
— Oceansgate_ (@Oceansgate_) October 16, 2020
Designed and developed in partnership with the University of Plymouth, the University of Exeter, Teignbridge Propellers, and EV Parts, the e-Voyager was funded through the £1.4 million Clean Maritime Call: a Maritime Research and Innovation UK (MarRI-UK) initiative supported by the Department for Transport (DfT).
Support from the University of Plymouth and the University of Exeter came through the Environmental Futures & Big Data Impact Lab, a £6.4 million project to support small businesses, and the £4 million Marine Business Technology Centre, both part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
“Through our diverse mix of staff and specialisms, the University of Plymouth has supported Plymouth Boat Trips and its partners in both data analysis and regulatory advice,” said Dr Richard Pemberton, lecturer in Mechanical and Marine Engineering Design at the University of Plymouth.
This has to be the future of sustainable and zero emissions travel? It also sounds spooky!
The UK's first all electric passenger ferry, using repurposed Nissan Leaf batteries, is launched and begins sea trials near Plymouth#carbonneutral #ElectricVehicles #environment pic.twitter.com/Kfb4nPl0L6
— Ben Birchall (@BenBirchallUK) October 12, 2020
“The University firmly believes that the work conducted on e-Voyager will pave the way for larger scale innovation towards meeting the Government’s target of a 50% reduction in emissions from the maritime sector by 2050.”
After taking Kerry McCarthy MP, the Shadow Minister for Green Transport, and Luke Pollard MP Plymouth Sutton & Devonport, on a quick joyride, e-Voyager will now undergo a series of trials to test the motors, energy storage, control, and charging systems in a real-world environment.
This will help to deliver approval from the necessary regulatory bodies before the vessel can be used to carry passengers and other electric vessels can be used across the sector.
Kerry McCarthy MP, Shadow Minister for Green Transport and Luke Pollard MP Plymouth Sutton & Devonport visited us yesterday! We hope they enjoyed coming out on the water to experience the UK's first sea-going electric ferry! #eboat #electricboat #evoyager #greenmarinedesign pic.twitter.com/OWHgUFRXPS
— e-Voyager (@EVoyagerPlym) October 17, 2020
“It’s hugely exciting to see the launch of e-Voyager and the result of such a progressive collaboration to create a cleaner and more sustainable future for the marine industry,’ said Andy Hurley, the project leader for Plymouth Boat Trips and Voyager Marine.
The future of e-Voyager and other electric ferries in the Plymouth area will be given a welcome boost by the Plymouth City Council, which will install three 22kWh chargers on the Barbican Landing Stage, which will be able to fully charge the e-Voyager in under three hours.
This will allow e-Voyager, and future vessels like it, to charge overnight, and provide enough power to run for a full day and complete its journey on a single charge.