Hopping the Channel in a Hybrid? - Pager Power
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Hopping the Channel in a Hybrid?

Hopping the Channel in a Hybrid?
January 17, 2024 Jacob Cunningham

In May 2025, Brittany Ferries is set to introduce two new passenger and vehicle ferries to its fleet. These two hybrid ships will replace its older, outdated predecessors on the route between Portsmouth and Caen.

The new ships will utilise a liquified natural gas (LNG) and electric hybrid power system, deviating away from its diesel-powered counterparts, improving efficiency by up to 9% [1] and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and sulphur dioxide emissions.

Port Chargers

Additionally, once the ports of Portsmouth and Caen have been connected to the grid [2], the new ferries will be able to easily charge their batteries and run in port while loading and unloading. Further reducing fuel consumption, thus improving air quality within the port towns of Portsmouth and Cean and reducing emissions, all the while improving the cost efficiency for Brittany Ferries.

hybrid ferries

Figure 1:  Brittany Ferries ship. [3]

Hybrid Ships

Hybrid ships, in their current state, are unlikely to be adopted on the wider scale. Although ideally suited for short journeys with easy opportunities to recharge, the usefulness of a battery powered ship diminish when considering the vast distances many large ships travel. And, hybrid ships will have a very hard time breaking into the market as diesel powered large vessels are extremely cost effective, and competitive, meaning in order for hybrid vessels to truly break into any large vessel market they will have to be extremely cheap and efficient for long haul journeys.

However, Brittany Ferries are showing that it can be commercially viable to utilise hybrid vessels and to have grid connected ports for short journeys, for example maritime trade between European countries could easily be a viable market for such vessels.

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[1] Phil Davies, “Brittany Ferries names latest hybrid ship to enter service in 2025”, Travel Weekly, 5 May 2023. (Online) Available: https://travelweekly.co.uk/news/tourism/brittany-ferries-names-latest-hybrid-ship-to-enter-service-in-2025 [Accessed 15 January 2024].

[2] Jacob Cunningham, “Portsmouth Port Chargers”, Maritime Page.
(Online) Available: https://www.pagerpower.com/news/portsmouth-port-chargers/ [Accessed 15 January 2024].

Figure 1: Viktor Forgacs, unsplash.com, 19 March 2021. (Online) Available: https://unsplash.com/photos/white-and-blue-cruise-ship-on-sea-during-daytime-lAyxxZxPYjQ?utm_content=creditShareLink&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unsplash [Accessed 15 January 2024]


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