BC Ferries will be getting two new hybrid vessels for the new year. (File contributed/ BC Ferries)

BC Ferries hybrid ships arrive in Victoria on Saturday

The battery-operated vessels will take over smaller routes

Two new BC Ferries hybrid ships are set to arrive in Victoria Saturday morning.

The Island Class vessels are designed to be battery-operated, but have hybrid technology built in to operate until charging infrastructure and funding becomes available.

ALSO READ: BC Ferries budgets $200M to add four more hybrid-electric vessels to fleet

“It’s an exciting day for BC Ferries and coastal B.C. communities as we welcome these ships to their new home,” says Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ president and CEO in a statement. “The anticipated arrival of these battery hybrid-electric ferries marks a major milestone in our plan to progressively lower emissions across our fleet and be a leader in transitioning to a lower carbon future.”

The ships left Romania on Nov. 20 on a semi-submersible transport vessel, making their way towards Victoria via the Panama Canal.

ALSO READ: New BC Ferries hybrid vessels make their way through Panama Canal before coming to Victoria

The ships arrive at the Breakwater District at Ogden Point on Saturday, Jan. 18, before being taken to Point Hope Maritime in downtown Victoria for final inspections. At that point, BC Ferries will take ownership, christen the ships and begin training crews.

The vessels are set to operate on the Powell River- Texada Island and Port McNeill-Alert Bay routes by mid 2020.

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