Fullers360 to launch high-speed plug-in electric hybrid ferry in Auckland

Construction will begin in April, 2022.
Construction will begin in April, 2022. Photo credit: Fullers360

Fullers360 says it has reached a "critical milestone" in its decarbonisation programme with Auckland's first electric hybrid fast ferry for its Hauraki Gulf network. 

The new electric vessel with is planned to be completed in 2023. It will be able to transport around 300 passengers on the company's Devonport route, and be able to travel to other destinations as needed. 

It's part of the company's goal of reducing carbon emissions by 750,000kg per year on the Devonport route alone. 

Fullers360's CEO Mike Horne says the business recognises the negative impact of traditional transport like diesel vehicles on New Zealand's environment. 

"Our vision is to provide New Zealand with the opportunity to build and operate the world's first large scale fast ferry fleet, supported by a fleet of hydrogen-ready electric vessels," Horne said.

"The move to green ferry technology is a significant milestone in realising our long-held vision and commitment to delivering sustainable marine transport for Auckland and other regions." 

The new electric hybrid vessel is planned to be built in New Zealand by Q West and is set to support 30 jobs in the Whanganui region where the boat building company is based.  

Fullers360 says the vessel will feature an electric-hybrid propulsion control system from HamiltonJet allowing it to operate at higher speeds with enhanced manoeuvrability all while using less energy and delivering greater operational resilience. 

Horne says this once-in-a-generation transition to green ferry technology will have multiple environmental, social, and economic benefits.

Fullers360 has been working closely with Auckland Transport (AT) over the last 12 months on the alignment of vessel specifications across the whole of the Auckland ferry fleet.  

Gareth Willis, AT's manager of ferry services, says the introduction of an electric hybrid ferry aligns with AT's plan to reduce transport emissions across all public transport services. 

"This is an exciting milestone for Auckland, joining a range of other leading initiatives in progress by AT that include New Zealand's first hydrogen bus trial and the recent placement of Australasia's biggest electric bus order through contract with the operator NZ Bus and increases to the electric train fleet." 

Fullers360 plans to begin construction on its electric hybrid fast ferry in April 2022.