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Maid of the Mist goes electric

One America’s oldest tourist attractions is going electric as the new Maid of the Mist pair become the first all-electric vessels to be built in the US.

The Maid of Mist sails at the base of one of the US’ top tourist attractions the Niagara Falls and soon tourists will be able to enjoy an emissions free voyage. Tour operator Maid of the Mist has ordered two new vessels which are entirely powered by battery power using technology from ABB.

Each of the vessels will be powered by a pair of battery packs with a total capacity of 316 kWh, split evenly between two catamaran hulls. The vessels will use shoreside charging to recharge while passenger disembark and board the vessels, with charging taking just seven minutes.

The vessels operate from April to early November with 30 minute sailings at the base of the falls carrying an estimated 1.6m tourists a year.

“We are thrilled to be the USA’s first vessel owner to add all-electric ferries to our fleet,” said Christopher M. Glynn, president of Maid of the Mist Corp. “We have chosen ABB to support us in our journey towards more sustainable operation based on their unparalleled experience in marine system integration, as well as efficient and innovative technologies for sustainable transportation.”

The vessels will be entirely emissions free as the electricity used for charging the batteries will come hydro-power.

Peter Terwiesch, president of the Industrial Automation business at ABB, said, “Reducing emissions at Niagara Falls is not only important for the natural landmark, but also proves that the technologies enabling sustainable mobility are already available today.”

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