Making waves with sustainable, marine design
Voyager Boatyard is partnering with Plymouth Boat Trips, the University of Plymouth, the University of Exeter, Teignbridge Propellers, MarRi-Uk and EV Parts UK in a ground breaking project to create the UK's first, sea going, electric passenger vessel, e-Voyager. The new green boat is set to launch in October 2020, mirroring Plymouth Boat Trips' existing ferry routes, including Cremyll Ferry, a busy commuter connection between Cornwall and Plymouth.
The project is funded through the £1.4M Clean Maritime Call: a Maritime Research and Innovation UK (MarRI-UK) initiative supported by the Department for Transport (DfT), launched to support the UK's goal of zero emission shipping.
Voyager Marine will be the only UK boat builder to offer the complete package of design, installation and maintenance of sea going, electric vessels, driving forward a cleaner and more sustainable future for the marine industry.
Environmental and Commercial Benefits
Support for the e-Voyager project has come from the University of Plymouth and the University of Exeter via Environmental Futures & Big Data Impact Lab, a £6.4 million project to support small businesses, and the £4M Marine Business Technology Centre, both part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Repurposed, Nissan Leaf batteries will be used in e-Voyager, meaning almost no maintenance and clear commercial benefits for businesses in the marine sector. The University of Plymouth's scientists will carry out research during the build, measuring emissions including noise pollution, air pollution and fuel consumption.
Brian Lambert, a University of Exeter Research Fellow in the Marine Business Technology Centre Project, joined the consortium to shape the bid into MarRi-UK. Brian will be working with EV Parts UK to integrate and optimise the new electric power train, to maximise the environmental benefits and efficiency of the motors.
The cutting edge project is providing the perfect opportunity to show how the Universities scientific expertise and business support can be combined with the ingenuity of a local company.
Technology and design
EV Parts will design the battery storage and motor installation. FBW (fly-by-wire) electronic controls will replace the existing systems and will be directly transferable to a wide range of vessels in the under 24m commercial vessel market. The motors, energy storage, control and charging systems will also be tested in a real-world environment, enabling the team to gain approval from regulatory bodies so they can be used in vessels across the sector and, eventually, carry passengers.
Rigorous running trials will be carried out and Plymouth Boat Trips will be working closely with the University of Plymouth and Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) to develop regulations.