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Angel Island ferry to be state’s first all-electric short-run ferry

The Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry Co.’s vessel the Angel Island can carry up to 400 passengers for its 1 nautical-mile trip to Ayala Cove. (Elliot Karlan archive / For The Ark 2022)

The Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry Co. has embarked on a pioneering project to convert its largest vessel into California’s first zero-emission, all-electric short-run ferry.

“If we’re successful, I get to do this for our community,” owner and captain Maggie McDonogh of Tiburon said last week. “How cool is that? It’s super exciting.”

McDonogh is partnering with San Rafael-based Green Yachts, Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s Electric Vehicle Fleet program and the California Air Resources Board on the roughly $4.5 million project, which is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

Green Yachts is doing the actual conversion work on the ferry Angel Island, a two-level 59-footer that can carry up to 400 people the nautical mile across Racoon Strait between the Tiburon Ferry Terminal and Angel Island’s Ayala Cove. It was designed and built in 1975 by McDonogh’s father Milt, who in 1959 had turned his own father’s boat-for-hire business into the official ferry service.

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