Seagliders may widen travel optionsPosted by On

Video shows simulation of Regent’s electric Seagliders in operation. Video / Regent

An emission-free ride from Whitianga to Auckland’s CBD in 30 minutes and costing around $30 might seem to be a futuristic fantasy but could be a reality as early as
2025.

A New Zealand consortium has announced it will be purchasing a fleet of 25 Seagliders which will operate initially out of Auckland and Wellington.

Delivery is expected around 2025.

Seagliders are fully electric and will operate over the coastal waters of New Zealand. The craft is designed to initially move forward on its hull then as they gain speed they foil much like an America’s Cup yacht, then take off and fly at about 10m above the ocean.

“This will be a gamechanger for coastal towns on the Coromandel Peninsula and is really exciting,” Denis Tegg, Thames-Coromandel representative on the Waikato Regional Council, said.

“The New Zealand owners of the consortium have stated that a connection between Auckland and Whitianga (and Tauranga) is planned. In interviews, they have said a 150km flight to Whanga┬»rei would take 30 minutes and cost around $30. Auckland to Whitianga is also around 150km so a $30 fare is feasible to connect to Coromandel’s east coast,” he
said.

“Imagine being able to get to the Viaduct in central Auckland within 30 minutes for just $30, with zero climate emissions and avoiding a stressful car trip taking upwards of three hours.

“Within a few years, we could potentially have Seaglider links to other Coromandel…

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