Hybrid Ferry Project

Scotland, Ireland & Northern Ireland Territorial Cooperation IVA Programme

Partners / countries involved

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited ( United Kingdom );

The Hybrid Ferry Project (which follows on from learning gained from the Small Ferries Project, an INTERREG Cross Border Programme collaboration between CMAL, Scottish Government, and the Northern Ireland and Ireland Government to produce a common design and procurement strategy for small ferries), has developed the world’s first seagoing passenger and vehicle roll-on roll-off ferry to use a low-carbon hybrid system of diesel electric and battery power.

Scottish Government and Highlands & Islands ERDF Programme funding provided the investment to design and build two ferries using innovative ‘green’ technology including lithium ion battery banks supplying a minimum of 20% of the energy consumed on board. The technology is cleaner, quieter and cheaper to operate and maintain than before. The investment also included the development of the corresponding shore infrastructure to enable the hybrid vessels to charge their batteries.

The launch of the first ferry, MV Halliag, by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, took place on 12 December 2012 and the second, MV Lochinvar, on 23 May 2013. Both are now both operational serving the communities of Skye and Raasay, Tarbert to Portavadie routes, respectively.

Each ferry  accommodates 150 passengers, 23 cars or 2 HGVs, with a service speed of nine knots and is powered by small diesel generator sets, feeding power to a 400 volt switchboard, which  supplies power to electric propulsion motors that turn the propulsion units.

The project won Electric and Hybrid Propulsion System of the year for MV Hallaig at the inaugural Electric & Hybrid Marine Awards in Amsterdam on 26 June 2014 and received the Most Innovative Transport Award at the Scottish Transport Award 2014 ceremony on 19 June 2014.


Lessons Learned

The investment and the build of both ferries at Fergusons in Port Glasgow helped to support 175 jobs and 20 apprenticeships in the local community and supported the growth of the local economy.

The project  provided a fantastic commercial opportunity for Scotland and showing how, as a nation, we are leading the way in innovative ferry design and build.


CMAL is a worthy winner …. and its work is very important in the development and implementation of strong, usable and relevant electric and hybrid technology in the industry.” John Thornton, Chairman of Electric & Hybrid Marine Awards & Asst Editor, Electric and Hybrid Marine Technology International magazine.

  • Status
  • Completed
  • Project Launch
  • 01 December 2011
  • Project completed
  • 31 December 2013

Project owner contact

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited

Project Website