The UK’s first hybrid high-speed passenger ferries are being built to cut emissions on commuter service running from south east London. 

Uber Boat by Thames Clippers, which operates between Woolwich and Putney, announced it will operate two vessels which will run solely on battery power when they are in the centre of the capital.

The boats are being built at Wight Shipyard on the Isle of Wight.

The first will enter service in the autumn, with the second due to be launched in spring 2023.

This Is Local London: Uber Boat operates between Woolwich and Putney (Uber Boat)Uber Boat operates between Woolwich and Putney (Uber Boat)

When they are outside central London they will run using biofuel-powered engines, with excess power used to recharge the batteries.

The Uber Boat service is expected to extend to Gravesend, after the council agreed to sell Town Pier.

Uber Boat by Thames Clippers’ co-founder and chief executive Sean Collins said: “This development in technology has enabled us to take the first major steps to meet our future environmental vision.

“For over 20 years we have been at the forefront of innovation for the river marine sector.

“We are committed to supporting the sustainable growth, infrastructure and economic development on and around the river to endorse the river’s importance to London as a form of transport.”

He added: “We’re looking ahead with this hybrid design, ensuring easy conversion to green hydrogen or another renewable energy source.”

The firm has committed to reaching net zero for carbon emissions from its “fleet, infrastructure and environmental footprint” by 2040.

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