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 offers clear environmental benefits: originally a conventional diesel boat, the Mermaid (see photo on the right) has been converted to electric drive using repurposed Lithium ion batteries, which drastically reduce both noise and air pollution from the vessel. What’s more, the new vessel doesn’t need any fuel and so is much cheaper to operate. The motors, energy storage, control and charging systems are also being 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.”
The e-Voyager was launched from Voyager Boatyard in Cornwall on 12th October 2020, an event that made local and national news. It is currently being tested in the Plymouth Sound in order to gain all the necessary certifications.
The team is already starting to plant for a 150-seat electric ferry to be developed in 2021.
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