• Major Project

Ferry system electrification

Tokitae out on the harbor

Major Project overview

Washington State Ferries (WSF) is undertaking an ambitious initiative to move toward a “greener” ferry fleet with the twin goals of reliability and lighter environmental footprint. In a typical year, WSF burns more than 18 million gallons of diesel fuel, making the system Washington state’s largest diesel consumer. WSF is working on several projects to meet the goals of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Executive Order 20-01, which directs WSF to move toward a zero emissions fleet. The three main capital components of the electrification plan are: building new Olympic class hybrid-electric vessels, converting the existing three Jumbo Mark II vessels to hybrid-electric vessels and developing terminal charging infrastructure.

Timeline overview

Hybrid Electric Olympic Class: 2022-2055 (tentative), Conversion of M/V Wenatchee to Hybrid Electric Propulsion: Winter 2022-2

Major project status



$1.33 billion secured to date from grants and federal and state funds

Major project alerts

Suanne Pelley
Major Construction Communications Manager

Near term goals focus on hybrid electric vessels

In 2023 we plan to begin construction on our first hybrid-electric Olympic-class ferry, with an estimate of 2025 for this new vessel to enter service. We must continue building additional hybrid-electric ferries to maintain reliable service and meet our emission reduction targets. These greener ferries have the added benefit of reducing nitric oxide emissions by 146 metric tons/year and carbon dioxide emissions by 16,340 metric tons/year, reducing operating costs, virtually eliminating engine noise and vibration, and reducing maintenance costs.

Converting the three Jumbo Mark II vessels is also a key component of the electrification plan, and work is expected to begin in 2023 on the first conversion.

Video of our electrification efforts

Our new hybrid-electric vessel is just one element of our electrification efforts. Our plan to take the nation’s largest ferry fleet to emission free by the year 2050 is outlined in a video we produced for the American Society of Civil Engineer’s biennial International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure.

WSF Environmental Program Manager Kevin Bartoy
Environmental Program Manager Kevin Bartoy is one of several WSF
employees featured in a video about our journey to a zero-emissions fleet.