No production of diesel and petrol engined boats after 2050

Published: Friday, 24 September 2021

THE UK Government is planning to phase out the production of new fossil-fuel powered vessels by 2050.

Tackle climate change

This includes all diesel and petrol powered boats, meaning that there will be no such powered boats produced after this date to help tackle climate change.

Action is already being taken on the Broads, with a Clean Maritime Competition partnership securing new funding to ‘Electrify the Broads’.

This funding will enable the partnership group to research how the transition to cleaner fuels and propulsion could take place in the Broads.

No environmentally options

To date, electric motors are only widely used on small outboard vessels, electric day-boats and sailing yachts. The ‘cruiser’ fleet of private and hire boats is almost entirely fossil-fuel powered, and there are currently no environmentally-friendly options for hire vessels that spend weeks away from their base.

ElectricBoatThe partnership includes RenEnergy, the Broads Authority, Net Zero East, Norfolk Broads Direct and Hethel Innovation, who will investigate ways to decarbonise propulsion of the most polluting cruising vessels and explore the need for electric charging infrastructure throughout the Broads.


The second phase of the project will look to demonstrate potential technologies (such as biofuels and Hydrogen fuel cells) to river users and how they could apply to the inland waterways, where diesel is at present the main method of propulsion for narrowboats. The picture shows one of the few narrowboats electrically propelled on the inland waterways.

RenEnergy, Managing Director, Damian Baker, explained:

"RenEnergy have been at the forefront of developments in renewable technology since 2006. We are excited to be leading the project on the electrification of these acclaimed inland waterways.

"The project builds upon our knowledge and experience of delivering on-shore infrastructure to support the electrification of vehicles, aviation and now boating."

This is part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan to position the UK at the forefront of green shipbuilding and maritime technology, with the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition a £20m investment from government alongside a further £10m from industry to reduce emissions from the maritime sector.