LETTER: Electric ferry the solution

From reader Willem Betts...

In 2015, the world’s first electric vehicle ferry, Ampere, was launched in Norway.

It’s larger than the Kootenay Lake ferries, with a 120 car capacity compared to the MV Osprey’s 80, and travels a six kilometre route 34 times a day while barely making a sound and without emitting a single gram of carbon.

Norway’s ministry of transportation had sponsored a competition: design the most environmentally friendly ferry possible.Siemens, a German engineering giant who is also active in Canada, put together the electric propulsion system which is powered by batteries that were built right here in British Columbia by Corvus Energy.

The switch from diesel to electricity reduced their fuel costs by 60 per cent. Because the transmission lines where the ferry operates have a low capacity, the Norwegians had to come up with creative solutions to get enough juice into the ferry’s batteries without turning the lights out in the local villages.

The West Kootenay is basically the tar sands of hydropower, so we would be in a much better position to power such a vessel.

The first step would be rejecting our ministry of transportation and infrastructure’s proposal to move the Balfour ferry terminal to Queen’s Bay.

Under this plan, which would annihilate a popular public beach and bankrupt a local economy, there wouldn’t be a new ferry built to replace the MV Balfour, only a motorized barge for when the Osprey is in dry dock or out for maintenance.

This August, our premier announced BC’s Climate Leadership Plan. It includes plans to outfit several BC Ferries vessels with new dual-fuel systems that would allow them to run on liquid natural gas.

We can do better than that: let’s tell our government to follow Norway’s lead and begin converting our province’s ferries torun on electricity, starting right here on Kootenay Lake with the replacement of the MV Balfour.

A new electric ferry sailing from Balfour to Kootenay Bay would reduce operating costs, increase liveability (by way of its nearly silent motor), and attract throngs of deep-pocketed tourists. Imagine: a ferry powered by the very water it crosses.

This is the solution our lake deserves.

Willem Betts

Nelson

 

 

Just Posted

South Slocan woman killed in Friday crash

Police continue to investigate cause of fatal crash

Ammonia leak shuts down Nelson Curling Club

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Four points for Fawcett as Leafs win 7th straight

Nelson edged the Fernie Ghostriders 4-3

What’s Up: Things to see and do on Family Day

There’s plenty of fun to be had across the West Kootenay this coming long weekend!

Seven Nelson rec projects granted Columbia Basin Trust funding

Nelson’s baseball and tennis clubs were the big winners

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

East Kootenay mine deaths prompt safety initiatives

Teck produces educational video, introduces new procedures after contractor drowns at Fording River

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Bashful Balladeers bring voices to Vernon

Despite hiding behind masks, talent shines with this group

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

Most Read