Washington’s ferry system is the largest consumer of diesel fuel and the largest generator of greenhouse gas emissions in state transportation. That’s about to change.

As announced by Gov. Jay Inslee’s office, the state is advancing its clean transportation efforts by switching from diesel ferries to electric-hybrids. The state is converting some of its biggest and dirtiest ferries, and building an all-new, 144-car electric ferry with the option to buy four more.

According to Gov. Inslee, who recently issued an executive order to transition to an all zero-emission fleet, the transition will:

  • Save taxpayers on ferry operating costs such as fuel and maintenance;
  • Achieve a 95 percent reduction in diesel and carbon emissions once charging stations get installed;
  • Help eliminate engine noise and vibration that can hurt orcas; and
  • Improve reliability because there are fewer parts to the propulsion system.