Electric ferries as the start of carbon neutrality

As from the new year, the city of Lisbon will start replacing their old fleet of ferry boats with new, electric ones. The public ferry company Transtejo & Soflusa ordered ten new boats who solely run on electric-charged batteries. For the country of Portugal, this a new step in the direction of being carbon neutral in 2050.

In 2019, the government of Portugal made the ‘Roadmap’ for carbon neutrality in 2050. One of the consequences of this treaty, is the introduction of new ferry boats in their capital city. The ferry is a wildly used mode of transportation in the city. But they are not so eco-friendly. The boats are now diesel-powered. When the boats leave the station, the black smoke fills the air around Praça de Comércio, and a bad smell appears. A change must be made.

The company ABB has a contract with the Spanish ferry builder Astilleros Gondán. The ABB provides the boats, and the public transport company Transtejo & Soflusa will operate the boats. In the next two years, the fleet will be renewed. The old, polluting boats then will be replaced by the new ones. The new ferries will be used on the Tagus River at the most famous connections. The company ABB stated that the new boats will cut 6,500 tons in CO2 emissions every year. The new boats can carry up to 540 passengers an hour per boat. This is still not the biggest ferry. The biggest boat remains the catamaran, that can fit up to 600 passengers in every boat.

The ferries are a very popular way to cross the Tagus River. Besides the bridges, where the train and cars drive, there is no other option for the people who live across the river. With the use of the new boats, they also help to change the climate, even if it is only a little bit. The ferries are also very famous with the tourists. It’s a cheap way to explore the river and the less famous regions around the capital city.

With the introduction of the new fleet, the country started a lot of new changes to realize the roadmap. It’s not known yet what the next step will be.


Find out more about Lisbon’s ferries here: Infographic-ferry.pdf