Angel Island Ferry Will Be CA’s 1st Electric Short-Run Ferry
By Thomas Hughes, Bay City News Foundation
The Angel Island Ferry is going electric. The 400-passenger ferry to Angel Island State Park, owned and operated by the Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry Company, will be converted into an electric propulsion vessel by California-based Green Yachts. The project will be supported by infrastructure built by PG&E as part of the utility’s electric vehicle fleet program.
Capt. Maggie McDonogh, fourth-generation owner and operator of the Angel Island ferry, said the electrification project was facilitated by the partnership with PG&E, which will increase electricity transmission to the ferry terminal and support the installation of necessary charging infrastructure.
“We are very excited that the Angel Island will be the first of the short-run ferries in California to be 100 percent zero-emission, as our company continues supporting the natural environment of the Bay and our beautiful state park,” said McDonogh.
PG&E’s electric vehicle fleet program seeks to help customers convert large- and medium-sized vehicles to all-electric through construction support and financial incentives. The Angel Island Ferry marks the first extension of the program to the maritime sector, according to the utility.
“The Angel Island ferry is an important part of California history and Bay Area tourism, carrying hundreds of thousands of visitors to Angel Island State Park for nearly a half-century. We are excited to support and collaborate on its conversion to an electric propulsion vessel,” said Lydia Krefta, PG&E’s director for clean energy transportation.
Graham Balch, managing broker at Green Yachts, said an electric semi-truck needs 2 kilowatt-hours to travel one mile, while the Angel Island Ferry will require 15 times that amount.
“The increased energy requirement per mile shows the significant challenge associated with electrifying the marine sector,” Balch said.
The conversion is expected to be completed by 2024, which will put the ferry in compliance with state regulations that aim to reduce pollution in California waterways.
Short-run ferries, which include those traveling less than 3 nautical miles over a single run, will be required to be fully zero-emission by the end of 2025, according to the California Air Resources Board.
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