In two years’ time, Aucklanders could be making their way across the harbour in one of two electric ferries, the Government announced on Tuesday.

An artist’s impression of an electric ferry being developed by EV Maritime.An artist’s impression of an electric ferry being developed by EV Maritime. (Source: EV Maritime)

Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods said the ferries promised quieter, greener and cleaner trips across the city’s major inner and mid-harbour services.

The carbon fibre ferries, developed by Auckland-based company EV Maritime, could reach a top speed similar to that of modern diesel ferries at 25 knots. It has a range of 40 kilometres and can carry 200 people each.

“Today’s ferries contribute about 20% of Auckland’s public transport emissions,” Woods said.

“These electric ferries promise to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with each electric ferry displacing approximately 1000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.”

The two ferries will be owned and operated by Auckland Transport.

AT was expected to fund charging infrastructure on the wharf, something it had been working on with energy firm Vector.

The transport organisation said the two ferries could pave the way for further electrification in the future.

Wood said AT would receive a $27 million grant from the Government, which would pay for about three-quarters of the cost of constructing the two ferries.

The funding comes from the Covid-19 recovery fund.

It comes after Auckland continued the process of transitioning its buses away from diesel, with Auckland Transport hoping it could have an emissions-free bus fleet by 2030 if it gets enough funding.

The city’s commuter train services are already largely electric.