Wight Shipyard wins contract for two hybrid river bus vessels

Written by Nick Blenkey
Hybrid vessel on water

Wight Shipyard Co. says the new hybrid vessels will be “some of the quietest ever seen in the passenger boat industry.”

London’s leading river bus operator, Uber Boat by Thames Clippers, has awarded East Cowes, U.K., shipbuilder Wight Shipyard a contract to build two new hybrid Clipper-class vessels.

“We are delighted that Uber by Thames Clippers has awarded us the contract to build the next generation of Clipper-class vessels utilizing the very latest battery-power technology and recharging options,” said Wight Shipyard CEO Peter Morton. “The Wight Shipyard Co. has built a reputation for meeting and exceeding the demands of a global client base, especially in terms of sustainability where our concentration on weight reduction, build quality, hydrodynamics and efficiency yields real, tangible results and savings. With the fusion of modern drive technology, we have a highly compelling proposition today.”


The hybrid design will allow the new vessels to operate solely on battery power to transport both commuters and sightseers along the Thames throughout the London’s central zone between the Tower Bridge and Battersea Power Station piers. They will operate on biofuel powered engines outside of Central London.

The technology is not reliant on shore-based charging. The new boats will use excess power from their biofueled engines to recharge their batteries for the Central London stretch.

The Wight Shipyard Co. says the new hybrid vessels will be “some of the quietest ever seen in the passenger boat industry and will stand as future-proofed examples of environmental excellence.”


Thames Clipper has had a ticketing partnership with Uber since 2020.

Passengers are able to use contactless payment system Oyster to pay as you go and can pre-book via the Uber app as well as the existing Thames Clippers Tickets app to travel with Uber Boat by Thames Clippers.

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