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Today’s Government announcement of $27 million grant funding towards two electric fast ferries for Auckland’s Waitematā Harbour has been applauded by Fullers360, who together with EV Maritime and Vector, made a submission for the funding as part of the Government’s Shovel-Ready programme in 2020.

Fullers360 CEO Mike Horne says the investment in two electric ferries is a further crucial step in decarbonising Auckland’s ferry network.

“Our shovel ready submission with EV Maritime and Vector was the catalyst for this funding and something that we are proud of. We are thrilled to see this collective vision come to fruition providing Tāmaki Makaurau with low carbon transport options.”

The new vessels support Fullers360’s vision for New Zealand to build and operate the world’s first large-scale fast ferry network, supported by a fleet of hydrogen-ready hybrid vessels. It follows Fullers360’s announcement late last year that it is funding Auckland’s first electric hybrid high-speed ferry, which is on track to be in the water by the end of 2023.

“Fullers360 has long pioneered that decarbonised ferry transport is a pivotal part of New Zealand’s future transport system. Our vision aligns ferry technology to environmental sustainability and supports Auckland Transport’s goal to reduces emissions by 50 per cent by 2030.”

Fullers360 and EV Maritime worked together over the last three years to develop the design, application, and business case for a new generation of sustainable marine transportation in the form of locally designed and built electric fast ferries, supported by over $500,000 of investment into R&D by Fullers360.

The submission included modelling that shows applying EV Maritime’s electric vessels to Auckland Transport’s inner and mid-harbour services alone can save Auckland more than $200m (including accounting for capital costs and charging infrastructure) and reduce Auckland’s greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 500,000 tonnes over 20 years.

Horne says the benefits of decarbonising the ferry network go beyond Auckland, supporting the broader New Zealand boat building and maritime industry.

“This project helps protect, sustain, and develop the New Zealand boat building industry and will create new highly skill jobs across several regions in New Zealand with the retention of skilled jobs in Whangarei, Auckland, Tauranga, Whanganui and Christchurch.

New Zealand has an opportunity to be world-leading in a high-profile green technology niche, and Fullers360 is committed to playing a leading role in this.”