Maid of the Mist tour boats to be battery-powered

The Maid of the Mist boats that bring tourists to the base of Niagara Falls are going electric.

The company on Friday announced plans to launch two zero-emission passenger vessels during the coming tourist season. The boats will be powered by high-capacity battery packs.

The new vessels are expected to go into service in mid-September and replace the existing diesel-engine vessels that will operate on the lower Niagara River until then.

The Swiss technology company ABB is supplying the lithium-ion battery packs and an onshore charging system. The batteries will be recharged for seven minutes after each trip.

“The Maid of the Mist has offered tours of the world-famous Niagara Falls waterfalls and of the Niagara River Gorge for more than a century, and are a signature tourism attraction of Western New York,” said Governor Cuomo. “The new zero-emission boats will continue that proud tradition while continuing our efforts to make New York State a premier environmentally friendly tourism destination.”

Maid of the Mist VI (1990) and Maid of the Mist VII (1997), will be removed from service, the company said in a press release, when the new vessels begin operating.

The Maid of the Mist first launched in 1846.



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