VICTORIA -- The first new hybrid-electric ferry in B.C. is scheduled to make its first service run Wednesday.

The Island Discovery will begin operations between Texada Island and Powell River at 3 p.m.

The ship is the first of the ferry service's fleet of four new hybrid ships that are expected to transition to full electric operation once shore power infrastructure is available.

The Island Discovery's entry into the fleet means the 59-year-old North Island Princess will sail off into the sunset after its final run Tuesday.

The Island Discovery is one of two new Island Class vessels that arrived on Vancouver Island in January

The new ships can carry up to 47 vehicles and 392 passengers. According to BC Ferries, the hybrid ships create less underwater noise along with lower emissions.

BC Ferries says each Island Class ferry should have a minimum service life of 40 years.

The second Island Class vessel is expected to enter service on the Port McNeill-Alert Bay-Sointula route.