A quiet, comfortable commute with minimal environmental impact sounds too good to be true but is set to become a reality after Fullers360 today announced Auckland’s first electric hybrid ferry will be coming to the city’s shores.
The new electric vessel with hybrid capabilities is anticipated to be completed in 2023.
It will have the capacity to transport approximately 300 passengers servicing the company’s Devonport route, with the capacity to travel to other destinations as needed.
Designed by industry leader Incat Crowther, the vessel is a modular metro-level with overflow to the upper deck optimised to be up to 100 per cent electric on the Devonport route reducing carbon emissions by 75,000kg per year on the Devonport route alone.
The modular metro-level vessel has been designed for safe, comfortable and highly reliable rapid transit ferry services.
It will feature a world-leading energy propulsion control system from HamiltonJet, allowing it to operate at high speeds with enhanced manoeuvrability, all while using less diesel combined with electrical grid energy and delivering greater operational resilience.
The vessel will transform the ferry experience for Fullers360’s customers with smoother and quieter sailings and capacity for 30 bikes onboard.
Fullers360 CEO, Mike Horne, says the shift to sustainable ferry technology is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Fullers360 to futureproof the ongoing conservation and protection of the Hauraki Gulf, and the natural life that lives on and within it.
“Fullers360 takes pride in providing a service for those who live, visit, or work in and around the Hauraki Gulf. Our team is excited to introduce an electric hybrid vessel to our fleet providing a more sustainable mode of transport for our customers while enhancing outcomes for the beautiful environment we operate in.”
Fullers360 has invested more than $1M into the research and development of electric vessels to deliver state of the art technology and a superior commuter experience.
As a first for our country, the new electric hybrid vessel is being completely built in New Zealand by Q-West and is set to support 30 jobs in the Whanganui region where boat builders Q-West are based.
Horne says while there are countless harbour cities in the world that are like Auckland, through investing back into the local marine industry, Auckland will not only be one of the first cities in the world to have an electric hybrid ferry, but New Zealand also has an opportunity to scale its marine technology credentials and contribute towards a more sustainable future.
“Electric ferry transport is the way of the future. Our vision aligns ferry technology to environmental sustainability by moving to a zero-carbon future and delivers on the Government’s climate action objectives by directly removing CO2 emissions.”
Horne says this is the first step in a broader plan to replace its ageing diesel fleet with electric vessels and the transition to green ferry technology will have multiple environmental, social, and economic benefits.
“We are working with passionate partners to combine ferry technology with environmental sustainability that will reduce carbon emissions, provide world-class tourism and commuter services, and support the economic recovery for New Zealand.”
Fullers360’s electric hybrid fast ferry is due to begin construction in April 2022.
In addition to Q-West, Fullers360 will be working with designer Incat Crowther, and waterjet propulsion specialists HamiltonJet to build and deliver the new e-ferry.