The Hybrid Ferry Project (which follows on from the Small Ferries Project, an INTERREG Cross Border Programme collaboration between CMAL, Scottish Government, and the Northern Ireland and Ireland Government (Ferries Divisions) 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.
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.