Hong Kong to trial electric ferries with ambitious pilot scheme

Ferry companies in Hong Kong will start testing electric ferries in 2023 on four routes.

If the pilot scheme is successful, it will provide ferry operators an additional choice of green technologies.

HK$350mn has been allocated to the pilot scheme on four harbour routes run by Star, Sun Ferry, Coral Sea Ferry and Fortune Ferry.

However the facilities at existing ferry piers do not supply enough electrical power needed to charge the ferries. As a result, additional power supply and upgrading of the electrical systems at the piers is required.

Power companies have agreed to increase the power supply to cater for the trial. Once a design is finalised, tenders will be invited for the construction of the charging facilities. 

This follows the Clean Air Plan for Hong Kong 2035, announced at the end of June 2021. The plan sets out the long-term goals and policies designed to improve the air quality from now to 2035. A number of decarbonisation strategies have also been integrated in the plan in order to achieve carbon neutrality while sustainably improving the country’s air quality. Promoting the use of new energy transportation is one of the plan’s priorities. 

Design proposals and associated charging facilities are expected to be completed within this year, with the ferry operators and government able to issue open tenders for the construction of electric ferries and associated charging facilities later this year. Overall, the pilot scheme is aiming to officially begin in 2023.

Image of traditional Coral Sea Ferry courtesy of Sophia and the city.

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