Washington state, Norway compare notes on electric ferries

Story Body

The rumble of the engine room is a familiar sound aboard a Washington state ferry, but that sound — and the carbon emissions that go with it — may soon become a thing of the past.

A member of the state’s Jumbo Mark II ferry fleet — the Tacoma, the Wenatchee or the Puyallup — will soon likely have two of its four diesel engines replaced with batteries. Once the conversion is complete, that hybrid-electric ferry would run on electric power most of the time, using the remaining diesel engines only in rare circumstances.

The money saved from converting that ferry to hybrid-electric power could cover conversion costs for the remaining two, Washington State Department of Transportation officials say.

The likelihood that the state will have at least one electrified ferry in the next several years is drawing international attention, in particular from Norway, which has one of the world’s first all-electric car ferries. State transportation leaders on Thursday took Kåre Aas, Norwegian ambassador to the United States, on a tour of the Tacoma’s engine room to talk more about the project — as well as how Norway and Washington might collaborate on electric ferry innovation.

Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.

Media Contacts

Tara Lee
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office