Uber Boat by Thames Clippers has announced that a pair of hybrid high-speed passenger ferries are being built at Wight Shipyard on the Isle of Wight.
Scheduled to launch in autumn 2022 and spring 2023, the vessels will be capable of operating on battery power alone when carrying passengers and commuters down the River Thames in central London; and when outside of the Thames Clippers Central Zone (in the West and East zones), the batteries will be recharged through the use of biofueled engines, ensuring the vessel is not reliant on shoreside charging facilities.
The vessels are said to be the UK’s first hybrid high-speed passenger ferries, and feature a future-friendly catamaran design which will enable the vessels to be upgraded when cleaner technology becomes available in years to come.
Uber Boat by Thames Clippers is committed to achieving net zero with all new-builds by 2025 and for the company’s wider fleet, infrastructure and environmental footprint by 2040.
“This development in technology has enabled us to take the first major steps to meet our future environmental vision,” said Sean Collins, co-founder and CEO, Uber Boat by Thames Clippers. “For over 20 years we have been at the forefront of innovation for the river marine sector. We are committed to supporting the sustainable growth, infrastructure and economic development on and around the river to endorse the river’s importance to London as a form of transport.
“We’re looking ahead with this hybrid design, ensuring easy conversion to green hydrogen or another renewable energy source – something we’re also focusing heavily on with the new projects we’re undertaking thanks to recent Department for Transport funding. It is the next step in our strategy to net zero and, ultimately, tailpipe zero.”