U.S. Washington state to upgrade ferry transport to reduce emissions

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SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) — The U.S. state of Washington is starting to replace its outdated, pollution-heavy ferries with new hybrid-electric boats to transition toward the goal of an all zero-emission fleet, the governor’s office reported Tuesday.

“We’re going electric,” Governor Jay Inslee said, adding the measure will help save “our land, our air, our water and our children’s health.”

The upgrading of the state’s ferrying transportation system starts with converting some of its biggest and dirtiest diesel-powered ferries with new 144-car electric boats.

The ferry system is the largest consumer of diesel fuel and the largest generator of greenhouse gas emissions in state transportation, using more than 18 million gallons of diesel every year.

About 60 percent of the diesel pollution particles and 50 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions were generated by only 6 percent of working boats in the Puget Sound on the northwestern coast of Washington, said the governor’s office.

Washington State Ferries is committed to buying more electric boats under its 2040 long-term plan.

Inslee signed an executive order in January 2018 to transition the state’s ferrying transportation system to a zero-carbon-emission fleet to conserve energy and cut fuel use.

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