Government commits $27m for electric ferries in Auckland

LAWRENCE SMITH/Stuff
Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods, alongside Auckland mayor Phil Goff, announce the purchase and build of two electric commuter ferries for the Waitematā Harbour.

The Government has confirmed Auckland will receive its first electric ferries by 2024.

Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods made the announcement outside the city’s downtown ferry terminal on Tuesday.

The electric ferries will be 200-seat vessels, which have been under development for nearly three years by Auckland-based EV Maritime – an offshoot of boat builder McMullen and Wing.

Woods confirmed $27 million of funding from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to cover most of the costs – approximately 75% of constructing the two electric ferries.

READ MORE:
* Electric ferries coming to Auckland, with Govt expected to commit $27m funding
* Electric milk tanker, high-powered EV charging stations announced
* Auckland's first high-speed electric hybrid ferry coming in 2023
* 'Electric is the future': Kiwi boat builders ride wave as first battery-powered ferry service nears

“This project will be a major boost to the rapidly developing maritime clean technology sector in New Zealand and will further upskill the maritime transport sector in New Zealand,” Woods said.

“This is a boost for our climate goals and our economy, which is especially vital as we continue our economic recovery from Covid-19.”

Auckland's ageing ferry fleet accounts for nearly 7% of the city’s public transport journeys, but produces 20.5% of all public transport emissions in the city.

The council has committed the city to halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, needing a 64% cut in transport emissions.

Auckland mayor Phil Goff says the ferries will help the council to meet its ‘deliberately ambitious’ climate target.
LAWRENCE SMITH
Auckland mayor Phil Goff says the ferries will help the council to meet its ‘deliberately ambitious’ climate target.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw said that with announcement, the Government had taken “another important step on the journey” to a low emissions future.

“As a harbour city, getting around by ferry is the norm for many thousands of Aucklanders,” Shaw said.

“Today’s announcement means that instead of fossil fuels powering many of those journeys, people will be getting around in ways that help create a climate-friendly, prosperous future for New Zealand,” Shaw said.

The carbon fibre, high-tech ferries which EV Maritime has been developing have a range suitable for Auckland’s inner and mid-harbour routes, as far out as Hobsonville Point and Half Moon Bay.

The new electric ferries will seat up to 200 people.
Supplied/EV Maritime
The new electric ferries will seat up to 200 people.

The catamaran design is broadly similar to the electric ferry now in service in Wellington, but is bigger and faster.

Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods confirmed $27 million of funding for the city’s electric ferries.
LAWRENCE SMITH
Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods confirmed $27 million of funding for the city’s electric ferries.

Woods also announced the government would be backing 15 big businesses to move away from fossil fuels in their production processes.

“In partnering with the private sector through the third round of the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry (GIDI) Fund we’re helping to clean up production processes, and helping business stay ahead of the curve.”

The Government would provide $13 million in funding, matched by $32.66m from private industry.