Ports of Auckland’s world-first electric tugboat looking for a new name

The Ports of Auckland is asking the public for help to name its new world-first full-sized electric tugboat.

Ports of Auckland's new fully-electric tugboat. Source: Supplied

The tugboat is the first of its weight class to be fully battery-run and will arrive in Auckland next year.

The Ports of Auckland team said they will choose the best names and put them to a public vote to choose the winner. 

Entries close on June 3 at 5pm. The winner will get $1000 and a ride around the harbour on the new boat.

In a video released by Ports of Auckland, its CEO Tony Gibson said it was part of their ambition to be zero-emissions by 2040.

“So this is the first step, the electric tug, to achieving that ambition,” he said.

“We want to be a global leader.”

The Ports had been trying to find zero-emission options for heavy equipment like its tugs since 2016. They had been told by manufacturers only hybrid tugs were possible until partner Damen Shipyards took on the full-electric challenge. 

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said the tugboat was a sign of the city “play[ing] our part in reducing global emissions” for future generations.

“We have to act sooner rather than later,” he said.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw said it was “absolutely critical” for business to lead the way when tackling climate change.

“After all, it’s business that makes all of the products and services that we all consume, and that’s where the emissions come in.”

He said businesses in New Zealand were increasingly leading the way with climate change action.

“It will make a difference to the emissions profile of Ports Of Auckland itself,” Mr Shaw said.

“Because [the electric tugboat] is the first one, what this means is that there will be more to follow.”

Suggestions can be made online via the Ports of Auckland website.