Electric boats startups have begun to make inroads into the boating industry. The main mission of these startups is to move toward a more sustainable transportation method and reduce emissions in the oceans.
X Shore, a Swedish electric boat company, recently launched the Eelex 8000, its first electric boat. The boat is so technologically advanced it can be driven using a smartphone.
“It provides the user with the most power and user-friendly experience,” X Shore sourcing intern Alex Anckarman said. “The boat contains two 60 kilowatt-hour battery packs and a 225 kilowatt electric motor that gives the boat a top speed of 35 knots. There is also a 24-inch touchscreen display that connects up to a custom Garmin smartwatch that gives you many cool functions such as wireless start and a man overboard system. The boat has several sustainable materials including renewable cork and flax material in the hull.”
Anckarman said the interest in the company and electric boat spiked after its launch on the Swedish market.
“X Shore is expanding rapidly and we are currently in the process of setting up a factory in Sweden where we plan to have around 100 employees and have the ability to produce about 500 boats per year,” Anckarman said. “We just recently launched in the US at the Palm Beach Boat Show and have received large amounts of interest from all over the US and the rest of the world.”
Anckarman said X Shore, who has been featured in big name magazines like Forbes and Bloomberg, differentiates itself from other electric boat companies by providing top technology.
“X Shore differs from other electric boat companies in the sense that we consider ourselves a tech company first and a boat company second,” Anckarman said. “We want to provide our customers with the most high tech and user-friendly experience, all while providing a product that performs like no other electric boat on the market.”
Sean Marrero, the President of Watershed Innovation, said the companies they help are incorporating modern technology into their electric boats.
“One of the companies is called Ingenuity,” Marrero said. “Ingenuity integrates 100% electric drive systems into boats that are very challenging to make electric. The first boat we are selling is the Nautique GS22E. It can reach about 40 mph, but it is not designed to go fast. It is designed for surfing. It is 100% battery powered by our unique battery and has a small motor that is about the equivalent of a 300 horsepower V8 gas motor.”
Marrero said Ingenuity is reaching more consumers and is hopeful for additional work opportunities.
“Ingenuity is getting a lot of interest from end customers, dealers, other boat companies and suppliers who want to work with us,” Marrero said. “The future is bright for us, and we are seeing lots of other opportunities.”
Marreo said that Watershed Innovation has a unique background as a boat company.
“We are like a start-up inside a 100-year-old, privately held boat company,” Marreo said. “This helps us in a few ways. We don’t need outside financing, are not looking to sell the company and already work with some of the industry’s best brands, suppliers and dealers. All that said, we are also very small and nimble so we can make decisions quickly. It is the best of both worlds for us.”
Piotr Zin, CEO of the Seattle-based electric boat company Zin Boats, said he aims to produce boats with both quality and speed.
“The boat has a 55 kilowatt motor in it,” Zin said. “That is an equivalent of about 67 horsepower, and that is a continuous output. We can push this motor to almost an equivalent of 250 horsepower for a short period of time. The battery used is a BMW battery; it’s made for the BMW II three and the nominal power on it is 40 to 40.5 kilowatt hours. We found out it’s about 82 miles. ”
Zin said the boat is equipped with “range anxiety,” which alerts the user when the boat is low on battery.
“Once you’re running short, or when the system realizes that you need to slow down, it will ask you if you want to come back,” Zin said. “You’re going to have to come back at that speed all the way home, and it would adjust that speed for you or allow you to go slower. When you’re ready to go home, you just punch a button and it will tell you exactly what speed you need to be, and it will help you adjust to the speed.”
Zin said the boat is also equipped with carbon fiber, a sustainable material that uses recycled resources and allows the boat to be durable and stable out on the water.
“A typical boat this size would weigh somewhere between three and 4000 pounds, (but) our boats weigh 1750 pounds all together, which makes them super light and efficient and allows it to go farther,” Zin said. “Carbon fiber is also a very stiff material, so there’s very little flex. Our goal is to use recycled residences, moving forward.”
Zin said the market for electric boats is growing quickly, so Zin Boats is working on making their product more accessible to everyone.
“We do not have a boat that is inexpensive enough for everybody to buy,” Zin said. “But we know what that target is. We know what we’re hoping to gain from that market, and I believe we’re going to be able to get there pretty soon.”