DFDS to invest €1 bil­li­on in bat­tery elec­tric ships for the Channel

DFDS is announcing a substantial €1 billion investment in battery electric vessels, marking its unwavering commitment to decarbonising maritime traffic in the English Channel.

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In the future, mari­ti­me traf­fic in the Chan­nel will be elec­tric. DFDS is today announ­cing an expec­ted €1 bil­li­on invest­ment in six bat­tery elec­tric ships that will be deploy­ed on the Dunkirk-Dover and Calais-Dover rou­tes to car­ry pas­sen­gers and freight bet­ween the UK and the Euro­pean Union.

The first two elec­tric ves­sels will be in ope­ra­ti­on by 2030, while the rest is expec­ted to fol­low befo­re 2035.

“This is an important step towards decar­bo­ni­s­ing cross-Channel trans­port. 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,” says Tor­ben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS.

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. DFDS and the Port of Dover, the Port of Bou­lo­gne Calais and the Port of Dun­kirk have com­mit­ted to working tog­e­ther to decar­bo­ni­se mari­ti­me traf­fic in the Straits of Dover through a Memo­ran­dum of Under­stan­ding on 15 March 2023.

Col­la­bo­ra­ti­on is the key to the tran­si­ti­on to low-emission transport

DFDS is working with world-leading experts in bat­tery tech­no­lo­gy, ship design and ener­gy effi­ci­en­cy to design the­se advan­ced elec­tric ships – inclu­ding three under French flag – ensu­ring that their design encom­pas­ses safe­ty and per­for­mance while using pro­duc­tion methods that have the least pos­si­ble impact on the environment.

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, DFDS and the French aut­ho­ri­ties have inten­si­fied dia­lo­gue, and the French govern­ment recent­ly laun­ched an ambi­tious plan for the country’s ener­gy tran­si­ti­on, focu­sing on infrastructure.

“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 and we are deligh­ted to be able to make this announce­ment at the 7th Choo­se France Sum­mit initia­ted by French Pre­si­dent Emma­nu­el Macron,” says Tor­ben Carlsen.

In 2023, DFDS laun­ched a new stra­tegy – Moving Tog­e­ther Towards 2030 – which recon­firms the ambi­ti­on to beco­me a net-zero com­pa­ny by 2050 and to have six green fer­ries in ser­vice by the end of 2030, two of which will be elec­tric ships for the Channel.


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