The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of freedom for U. S. citizens and one of the most popular tourist attractions on the Eastern seaboard. So, it’s only fitting that in the spirit of energy independence that a hydrogen hybrid ferryboat be built to take passengers to both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
According to the press release, “The new 1,400-horsepower Hornblower Hybrid will run on a combination of energy generated by clean Tier 2 diesel engines, hydrogen fuel cells, solar panels and wind turbines. Power will come from a proton exchange membrane fuel cell that turns hydrogen into electricity. In addition, solar panels and wind turbines will help power the vessel. Efficient Tier 2 diesel engines kick in to cover additional energy needs.”
So, the downside is that the New York Hornblower Hybrid is no a zero emissions vehicle since it is equipped with a diesel engine. On the positive side, however, the diesel engine is used as the propulsion device of last resort on the ship and will not be needed during some hours of operation.
The 600-passenger ship is also being built (and expected to rollout in April 2011) in an eco-friendly matter including LED lighting to reduce energy needs, recycled glass counter tops and LEED certified carpeting. Besides giving visitors a taste of our ancestral past, this high tech vessel will give a glimpse of the green future for the U. S. at the same time.