Zero-Emission ‘Flying Ferries’ for Brittany Ferries
Brittany Ferries is exploring the potential for a new high-speed, sustainable and more efficient form of ferry travel called a seaglider. The concept, an all-electric, wing-in-ground effect vehicle (WIG), is under development in the United States through Boston-based start-up REGENT (Regional Electric Ground Effect Nautical Transport).
Brittany Ferries has signed a letter of intent which could see seagliders with a 50-150 passenger capacity sailing between the UK and France by 2028. REGENT expects the first commercial passengers to travel on smaller electric craft by 2025.
Seagliders combine the convenience of passenger ferries with the comfort of hydrofoils, the aerodynamic efficiency of hovercraft and the speed of aircraft. With the potential to connect existing ferry ports, the craft are expected to fly at speeds of up to 180 mph – six times faster than conventional ferries – with a battery-powered range of 180 miles.
The voyage from Portsmouth to Cherbourg, for example, could be covered in as little as 40 minutes.