CleanBC finances the development of electric boats

A Victoria-based luxury yacht designer will receive nearly $1 million from a provincial government zero-emission vehicle initiative for his work developing an electric catamaran.

Gregory C. Marshall Naval Architect, Ltd., is one of two marine design firms to receive funding from the CleanBC Go Electric Advanced Research and Commercialization program, the province announced in a news release Saturday.

The Victoria-based company will receive $948,000 for its project, described as “a 40ft high-efficiency, low-weight electric utility catamaran” in the provincial statement.

“As a local naval architecture company, we have received many calls from customers interested in electrifying their next vessel,” said Gregory Marshall, CEO of the company, in the statement.

“However, electric propulsion has yet to be proven for a wide variety of marine applications. With the opportunity provided by the ARC program, we will be able to develop and demonstrate a high-performance, lightweight catamaran and zero emissions designed to tackle a wide variety of roles traditionally dominated by internal combustion engines, such as coastal transport, patrols and eco-tourism activities.

A North Vancouver company, Capilano Maritime Design, will also receive funding under the program. This company is designing “a hydrogen cruise ship for the Port of Vancouver,” according to the province, and will receive $178,000.

“British Columbia is navigating towards a low-carbon technology revolution,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Low-Carbon Energy, Mines and Innovation, in the release.

“It’s no longer just about how we navigate our roads; our expertise in clean technologies is transforming the way the world transports people and goods on water.

A total of 17 zero-emission transportation projects are receiving more than $8 million in funding under the ARC program.

Other recipients of the funding include a Vancouver company that designs electric bicycle parts and a Port Coquitlam company that reuses old electric vehicle batteries.

The ARC program has also already provided $1.6 million to Harbor Air’s efforts to convert its fleet to electric planes.

The Victoria-based company tested the world’s first all-electric commercial seaplane in 2019.

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