Hybrid Ferry Clipper Launches in London’s Thames

Martin Banks

Belgium (Brussels Morning) – Uber Boat by Thames Clippers has launched Europe’s first hybrid high-speed passenger ferry, Earth Clipper, which offers a 90% reduction in CO2e emissions compared to traditional marine diesel. The ferry operates on battery power in Central London and biofuelled power outside of the city, with a capacity for 230 passengers.

In a significant step towards eco-friendly transportation, Uber Boat by Thames Clippers has introduced Earth Clipper, a hybrid high-speed passenger ferry that is the first of its kind in Europe. The innovative vessel is designed to reduce carbon emissions and offer a more sustainable way to travel through London. With its sleek design and advanced technology, Earth Clipper is paving the way for a greener future in the marine sector.

Hybrid Ferry Technology Makes Waves in London

Sightseers and commuters in London are being given the chance to make more eco-friendly journeys. This is thanks to “Earth Clipper”, Europe’s first hybrid high speed passenger ferry. Built to the High-Speed Craft Code it is the first of three new passenger ferries operated by a UK company,  “Uber Boat by Thames Clippers”, to operate with zero tailpipe emissions in Central London.

A pioneer in passenger boat design, Earth Clipper gives an almost 90 per cent reduction in CO2e compared with running solely on conventional marine diesel. The 18th high-speed catamaran in the company’s fleet seeks to lay strong groundwork for the wider marine sector.

The hybrid boat will operate solely on battery power while transporting commuters and sightseers through the UK capital – in the Central Zone, between Tower and Battersea Power Station piers – and recharge while using biofuelled power outside of central London. It offers an emissions reduction of 16.5 per cent when compared with running on biofuel alone throughout all parts of the route.

As well as being the first hybrid boat for the business, it is also its largest at 40m long – almost the length of two tennis courts laid end to end – and has a capacity of 230 passengers. Earth Clipper has large windows which look out onto the iconic views along the Thames and offers an onboard café service.

Uber Boat CEO: ‘Committing to a Greener Future

Commenting, Sean Collins, Uber Boat by Thames Clippers co-founder and CEO, told this site: “This is momentous for us and something we’ve been working towards for some time. “Being able to offer greener transport through the capital is no small feat but something we’re incredibly passionate about.”

“We are committed to not only utilising the most advanced technology to drive down our carbon footprint, but also to playing our part in breaking new ground to advance that technology as much as we can. The new boats push the boundaries in catamaran design to deliver a future-friendly option that can be made even greener as and when technology allows.

Earth Clipper has also been joined by a sister vessel, Celestial Clipper, which is now sailing on the Thames, while a third called Mars, is yet to launch but is due to do so later this summer. The company works has set a target of reducing carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2040 for the overall business.

Uber Boat Invests £70m in Eco-Friendly Fleet Expansion

The business plans to introduce a hybrid system as a minimum with any new vessels and where possible, fully electrified or zero emission technology. In addition to the three hybrid catamarans, work is under way to deliver London’s first fully electric Zero Emission Cross River Ferry between Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe by the spring of 2025 – the first of its kind in the UK. The company’s plans to 2030 include an investment of £70 million in new fleet.

The CEO says he believes strongly in “protecting and preserving the river Thames and the communities close to the river.” Earth Clipper was built at Wight Shipyard Co in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight, an investment significant for the local economy with 65 people building the boat over the past year and 14 apprentices involved. The company offers services that run as far east as Barking Riverside and out to Putney in the west. Now in its 24th year of operation it carries over 5 million commuters and visitors through London on the river.

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Martin Banks is an experienced British-born journalist who has been covering the EU beat (and much else besides) in Brussels since 2001. Previously, he had worked for many years in regional journalism in the UK and freelanced for national titles. He has a keen interest in foreign affairs and has closely followed the workings of the European Parliament and MEPs in particular for some years.