Aug 14, 2016
Ottawa is a city full of charm and history, graced by scenic waterways. Protecting these assets is a high priority; even their stenciled sidewalks proclaim Ottawa as the “most sustainable city in Canada.” Furthering this claim, a new, emission-free electric tour boat now plies the Rideau Canal, powered by two 80 hp Torqeedo electric motors.
The 75′, 100-passenger vessel is named The Queen Elizabeth Dr., and is the first of two planned vessels. It will offer guided tours and host events on the canal—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The second, The Colonel By, will enter service in the spring of 2017.
“Torqeedo’s high-power Deep Blue system was the obvious choice to propel Canada’s largest electric passenger vessel because of its comprehensive safety systems,” said Robert Taillefer, owner of The Queen Elizabeth Dr. and operator of Ottawa Boat Cruises. “These systems were fully vetted by the Canadian government in order to have the vessel certified.” The company’s website is www.rideaucanalcruises.ca.
The 1.5 hour tour travels from Chateau Laurier to Dow’s Lake, passing more than 30 of Ottawa’s landmarks, and runs four times a day. The Queen Elizabeth Dr. has two Deep Blue systems installed, but only one is used at a time. The canal is quite narrow for the long vessel; instead of turning around, it engages the second motor.
Meredith Brown, Ottawa’s Riverkeeper, is pleased to see a new electric-powered tour boat in the city. “Our organization is always happy to see new opportunities for people to connect with the river in a sustainable way,” she said, “and there is nothing like a quiet electric motor to help everyone enjoy the natural sounds of the river.”
Ottawa is familiar with the benefits of electric boating—a Torqeedo-powered water taxi has served the downtown area for several years. When Parks Canada opened an opportunity for a new tourism operation within the site, it specified that only electric boats would be considered.
The award-winning Deep Blue line provides the horsepower, torque and performance of a diesel or gasoline-powered engine, without the noise, fumes and pollutants. Torqeedo offers a wide range of outboard and inboard motors. They’re powered by high-voltage lithium batteries with exceptionally fast recharge times.