Electric vehicles are the clean and environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional vehicles. So most of the companies are converting their vehicles like cars, motorcycles, aircraft into electric ones. For example, Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) recently announced that its Airlander 10, the enormous butt-shaped blimp could go all-electric soon.
Now, ABB (Asea Brown Boveri), a Swiss-Swedish multinational corporation announced that its zero-emission technology will power the next generation fully electric ferries for the iconic Maid of the Mist tour. That means the visitors to Niagara Falls will soon have an eco-friendly ride.
According to ABB, these boats will be the first fully-electric vessels ever constructed in the United States and are expected to debut in mid-September this year.
Maid of the Mist has been navigating the waters of the Lower Niagara River since 1846. Boats head off from the downstream dock for the base of Niagara Falls every 30 minutes, serving an impressive 1.6 million guests annually.
Now, a couple of zero-emission boats going to be added to the fleet. The new ferries will provide visitors with an unfettered experience of the falls from up close. Upgrading to
allows the passengers to take in the full majesty and power of nature as it was meant to be.
The diesel-powered Maid of the Mist VI and VII boats will be retired once the new arrivals are fully assembled at the company docks. The passengers will no longer need to suffer those diesel fumes, rough vibrations, and noise.
“We are thrilled to be the US’s first vessel owner to add all-electric ferries to our fleet,” said Christopher M. Glynn, president of Maid of the Mist Corp. “We have chosen ABB to support us in our journey towards more sustainable operation based on their unparalleled experience in marine system integration, as well as efficient and innovative technologies for sustainable transportation.”
The lithium-ion battery packs an onshore charging system will be included in the new Maid of the Mist ferries. The new ferries will pull all of the electricity needed to charge up their 316 kWh battery packs using zero emission hydropower while passengers get off and on the boat.
In addition, the batteries will be recharged for seven minutes after each trip to 80 percent capacity, allowing the batteries to power the electric propulsion motors capable of a total 400 kW (563 HP) output.
“Reducing emissions at Niagara Falls is not only important for the natural landmark but also proves that the technologies enabling sustainable mobility are already available today,” ABB’s Peter Terwiesch said.
Glynn said, “It makes perfect sense for Maid of the Mist to be a world leader with the implementation of this green technology. The new vessels will carry our guests to the base of Niagara Falls, one of the world’s largest sources of clean hydroelectric power.”