Electric ferry planned for Queenscliff

July 7, 2023 8:35 am in by
terminal searoad ferriesQueenscliff’s ferry operator expects construction of a new electric boat for the service to start next year.

SeaRoad Ferries CEO Matt McDonald says the group has been working for years with a designer from Europe and they’ve settled on a design.

“We’re now working through the way we can deliver it,” he said.

“In the earliest it’ll be three years away, but certainly it’ll be a big game changer for the region…there’s many of them operating, particularly in northern Europe.”

Australia does not possess boat builders necessary for the type of vessel proposed for the Queenscliff-Sorento service according to Mr McDonald, he’s suggested construction will likely occur in southern south east Asia.

“There’s very limited capacity to build a ship of that size out of steel in Australia,” he said.

Further logistical planning includes shore-based infrastructure such as a charging station that’s powered by renewable energy.

“It’s highly complex with a lot of moving parts…but we’d hope to be starting construction next year, with a construction period of two years,” Mr McDonald said of the new boat.

The project gained federal government support this week with Transport and Infrastructure Minister Catherine King meeting with the company and inspecting the recently upgraded Queenscliff ferry terminal.

“I’m looking at ways we can get as much of the carbon out of transport as possible,” she said.

“We’ll have a chat with them to see what they’re interested in doing and see if there’s any assistance we can be.”

Image: Searoad Ferries