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Upcoming Electric Propulsion Requirements for Commercial Vessels in California

Since 2009, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has imposed commercial harbor craft regulations requiring older diesel engines to be upgraded to cleaner engines with reduced emission in order to reduce NOx, ROG and PM10 emissions. Many of these engine replacements have been funded by CARB’s Carl Moyer Program.

In March of 2018, CARB proposed further emissions reductions and updated regulations that would aim to achieve reduction in community health risk - particularly disadvantaged communities - attain regional air quality standards and mitigate climate change. As a result of these regulations, California is now set to become the first state in the United States requiring certain categories of commercial vessels to utilize either electric propulsion or a hybrid system.

Red White Ferry

Who Will This Impact?

These impending CARB proposed emission reductions will include short-run ferries below 3 nautical miles being zero-emission by January 1st 2026.
New excursion vessels (sunset cruises, whale watching, etc.) are required to be zero-emission capable hybrids that are at least 30% powered by zero emissions energy sources.

Benefits of Electric & Hybrid Propulsion:

  • Decreasing maintenance due to wear and tear at low RPMs on clean diesel engines
  • Reducing emissions
  • Preparing for future emission regulatory changes
  • Providing a quiet & fume-free experience for passengers and crew


At Palmer Johnson Power Systems our marine team is ready to assist you in meeting these new requirements. Our partnerships with quality manufacturers such as Twin Disc, Veth, Transfluid and Bell Marine allow us to offer complete hybrid and electric propulsion solutions. Contact us today to find out what options are available for you to convert an existing vessel or build a new one using electric or hybrid propulsion.

Electric Hybrid ADS Thumbnail

Complete & Return the Electric & Hybrid Propulsion ADS for your Next Project


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