Ruter, the public transport authority for the Oslo and Akershus counties, is to use new electric boats on its services on the Inner Oslofjord, news agency NTB reports.
The electric ferries will be operated by Norwegian company Boreal Sjø.
“The electrification of the island boats in 2021 will make Oslo a showcase for green shipping and take us one step closer to the goal of becoming the world's first emission-free city,” Arild Hermstad, a councillor with the Green (MDG) party who sits in the city municipality’s traffic committee and is also one of the party’s two national spokespersons, said in a statement.
Gratulerer til #Boreal Sjø som ny operatør for #Ruter på øybåtene i Oslo fra 1.11.2021. Gled dere til å reise med de fem #elektriske båtene #UU #utslippsfritt #grønt @zeronorge @arildhermstad @mariusgjersethttps://t.co/1p1jqrWgyX pic.twitter.com/8pj1O8yive
— Ruter (@Ruter) January 15, 2020
Hermstad wants all public transport in the capital region to be emissions-free by 2028.
All five new electric boats will be operational by 2022 but they will be phased in from next year. The agreement is the first of its kind between Boreal Sjø and Ruter, after the former company beat four competitors to the contract.
The Inner Oslofjord islands are a popular destination, with 867,000 boat passengers in 2019, NTB writes. 2018 was a record year for the island boats, with 1.2 million embarking due in no small part to a hot and sunny summer.
The new boats will have similar annual costs to the current vessels, despite a higher cost of production, Hermstad told NTB. The new boats all can seat 350 passengers, while the old ones have a capacity of 236.
Employees who work for current operator Oslo-Fergene will be transferred when the new contract takes effect, according to the news agency’s report.