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DFDS launching six battery-powered ferries for Dover to Dunkirk and Calais routes

A ferry company will launch the first of its battery-powered ships within the next six years, it has been announced.

The first two from DFDS will sail on the routes from Dover to Calais and Dunkirk by 2030.

DFDS says six new electric ships will be used on the Channel to and from Dover in just over 10 years. Picture: DFDS
DFDS says six new electric ships will be used on the Channel to and from Dover in just over 10 years. Picture: DFDS

The other four are expected to be operational before 2035, and they will sail under the French flag.

Bosses say it is a one billion euro (£0.86bn) investment in decarbonising cross-Channel transport.

Torben Carlsen, chief executive of DFDS, said: “Because of the relatively short distance between the UK and France, the routes are optimal for electric ferry transport.

“The electrification of our cross-Channel fleet will be an important step towards meeting our climate targets and, with this investment, we are accelerating the transition to a greener future for the shipping industry.”

The English Channel is one of the busiest shipping corridors in the world. It links two of the world's largest economies and accounts for 33% of trade between the EU and the UK.

In March last year, DFDS and the Port of Dover, Port Boulogne Calais, and Dunkerque-Port signed an agreement to work together on decarbonising maritime traffic on the Strait of Dover.

DFDS is working with world-leading experts in battery technology, ship design and energy efficiency to design these new ships.

In addition, DFDS works closely with national authorities, infrastructure partners and energy suppliers to secure the energy supply and infrastructure for electric ships. In recent years.

Mr Carlsen said: “The green transition is not something we can achieve on our own.

“Without access to sufficient power supply on land and infrastructure to accommodate charging facilities in ports, we cannot operate the ships.

“I am pleased that we have a shared ambition with governments on both sides of the Channel to enable green transport corridors.”

Kent had its first hybrid ship, powered by fuel and battery, last June when DFDS’ direct rivals P&O Ferries, launched its new ship Pioneer.

Its sister vessel Liberté, was launched in March.

DFDS is a Danish company and its name is an abbreviation of Det Forenede Dampskibs-Selskab (The United Steamship Company.)

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