Aurecon supports the development of the first fully electric passenger ferry service in the Southern Hemisphere
The launch of Ika Rere represents a significant milestone towards the decarbonisation of transport in New Zealand.
15 December 2021 – International design, engineering and advisory company Aurecon is supporting the transition to low carbon transport modes in Te-Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington, applying innovative thinking to develop the infrastructure needed to support the Southern Hemisphere’s first fully electric high-performance passenger ferry.
Aurecon has been working on a business case for the further development of electric passenger ferry services in Wellington for long term ferry operator East by West. The 19-metre, 135-passenger carbon-fibre ferry launched in December after several months of sea trials. The ferry has been built by Wellington Electric Boat Building Company (WEBBCo) for East by West.
East by West were looking to replace an existing ageing ferry and opted to seize the opportunity to transition to an electric vessel. The ferry, which is designed specifically for Te-Whanganui-a-Tara’s unique harbour environment, is larger, quieter, and faster than traditional diesel-powered ferries.
Although other commercial electric boats exist, Ika Rere will be the first operational electric passenger ferry service in the Southern Hemisphere.
Aurecon NZ Managing Director Tracey Ryan commended East by West for their ambition in bringing the electric ferry to life.
“Ika Rere is a real step in the right direction for the transition to lower carbon transport options in Wellington. The service gives passengers a faster, quieter and more sustainable way to travel across Te-Whanganui-a-Tara’s beautiful bays,” she says.
With Aurecon working on the feasibility and planning regulations needed to support an expanded electric ferry service in New Zealand’s capital, the launch of Ika Rere represents a significant milestone towards the decarbonisation of transport. As part of our commitment to supporting the transport sector to decarbonise, Aurecon is working on a pro bono basis and the new ferry will bear the Aurecon logo.