The City of Toronto’s department of Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PFR) has recommended a plan to replace Toronto’s current, out-dated fleet of ferry vessels with fully electric vessels over a 15-year period. The proposal is part of the City’s TransformTO Net Zero Strategy and commitment to accelerate climate action to achieve net zero city-wide greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2040.
“I support the full electrification of our future ferry fleet. This is the right thing to do for the environment and it is an investment that will ultimately save the City government money,” said Toronto mayor John Tory. “This is one example of how we are successfully implementing the City’s TransformTO Net Zero Strategy and honouring our commitment to accelerate climate action to achieve net zero city-wide greenhouse gas emissions.”
The current fleet under consideration for replacement is made up of four primary vessels and one heritage vessel – aged between 50- to 100 years old. The fleet transports more than 1.4 million passengers and 5,000 vehicles annually from the city to Toronto Island Park. Full electrification of the fleet is estimated to reduce 2,800 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually, along with reducing air and noise pollution. PFR estimates that – once the full fleet is replaced – the City would realize an annual savings of up to $1.1M CN ($0.87M US). The projected payback on full electrification would be within 20 years.
“Our investment payback on electrifying a replacement fleet, based on fuel cost savings alone, is estimated to be $1.1M annually once the full electrification of the fleet is complete,” said councillor Paul Ainslie, chair of the General Government and Licensing Committee. “This positive assessment shouldn’t shock anyone that electrification is the best ferry fleet consideration.”