Thames Clipper Launches New Hybrid Riverboats

The first high speed passenger ferry of its kind in Europe

The new 'Earth Clipper' at Tower Bridge

September 12, 2023

The first of a set of new hybrid riverboats has launched on the Thames.

River operator Uber Boat by Thames Clippers – which runs services between Putney and Barking – unveiled its £7m ‘Earth Clipper’ craft on Tuesday morning (12 September).

It is Europe’s first hybrid high-speed passenger ferry, and will operate solely on battery power while travelling through central London. West of Battersea Power Station and east of Tower Bridge, its batteries will recharge while the vessel uses biofuelled power to propel itself.

The boat is expected to provide an almost 90 per cent carbon dioxide reduction, compared with running solely on conventional marine diesel.

It is also the company’s largest boat yet, at 40m long – almost the length of two tennis courts laid end to end – and has a capacity of 230 passengers.

Sean Collins, the firm’s CEO, said that in addition to its green credentials, the new boat is also “significantly quieter than any other vessel in our fleet.”

He added: “It will, I hope, demonstrate to our customers and to visitors to London, that green technology for [the] marine [sector] is achievable and Uber Boat by Thames Clippers has started its journey onto net zero.”

The company’s target is to be entirely net zero by 2040, and to reduce carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2030.

“We’ve already got two more [hybrid boats] under development, with plans being drawn up for another two,” said Mr Collins.

The CEO also revealed that a new fully-electrified, cross-river ferry is planned to run between Surrey Quays and Canary Wharf, due for delivery in the spring of 2025.

Noah Vickers - Local Democracy Reporter

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