Denmark’s DFDS has unveiled a plan to spend €1bn ($1.07bn) on six new battery-electric vessels for its English Channel route.

The scheme marks its “unwavering commitment” to decarbonising its maritime traffic.

“In the future, maritime traffic in the Channel will be electric,” the ropax owner said.

No shipyards have yet been confirmed for the order, but the first two vessels will be in operation by 2030, with the rest expected by 2035.

They will operate on the Dunkirk-Dover and Calais-Dover routes.

Last year, the group had said it wanted six green ferries in service by 2030, two of which would be electric ships for the channel.

DFDS has five vessels under the French flag working the routes.

“This is an important step towards decarbonising cross-channel transport. Because of the relatively short distance between the UK and France, the routes are optimal for electric ferry transport,” chief executive Torben Carlsen said.

The channel accounts for 33% of the trade between the European Union and the UK.

DFDS said it is working with world-leading experts in battery technology, ship design and energy efficiency to develop the new ferries.

Three will operate under the French flag.

The group is also in talks with national authorities, infrastructure partners and energy suppliers to secure the power needed for the vessels.

“The green transition is not something we can achieve on our own. Without access to sufficient power supply on land and infrastructure to accommodate charging facilities in ports, we cannot operate the ships,” Carlsen added.