Electric speedboats get gorgeous
BMW batteries and Torqeedo motors demonstrate that "performance, innovation and sustainability are not mutually exclusive.”
Almost a decade ago we looked at the Torqueedo electric outboard motor and, frankly, found it wanting. The guy demonstrating it told me, "This is not water-skiing speed, obviously. But you’ll cruise along at a respectable clip and enjoy your surroundings so much more. Many people aren’t looking for a faster, noisier boat ride." I was, and replaced my 9.9 Johnson two-stroke with a supposedly cleaner four-stroke, and have regretted it ever since.
Meanwhile Torqueedo, founded in 2004, has cranked up its game to where you can get efficient clean electric outboards that push up to the equivalent of 80 horsepower gasoline outboards. They are powering boats of all sizes and types, including the Queen’s Rowbarge, Gloriana. And now they have taken the batteries from the ugly duckling BMW I3 and put them into a stunning little swan of a cruiser. According to the press release:
The BMW i3 battery has been adapted to work flawlessly with Deep Blue, Torqeedo’s most powerful solution for inboard, outboard and hybrid systems up to 160 HP. The durable high-capacity batteries from industrial production offer the highest energy density currently available in boating – at a lower cost per watt hour than ever before.
This is a totally impractical boat, made out of high maintenance wood and grossly overpowered, but it is a thing of beauty, an object of desire, and probably more of a demonstration project than a real product. There is no word on price and if you have to ask, you can't afford it. But the drive train is available for more conventional boats:
Torqeedo has made state-of-the-art automotive battery technology available for boats by offering BMW i high-capacity batteries via a recently signed supplier agreement. The first boats equipped with BMW i batteries are already in operation or are close to completion, including motor boats, sailing yachts and commercial marine applications such as water taxis.
BMW i batteries are a model of exceptional reliability and performance in electric mobility. They allow us to deliver cutting-edge electric propulsion and integrated energy management for both recreational and commercial applications,” states Christoph Ballin, Co-Founder and CEO of Torqeedo.
Lloyd Alter/ approaching bridge/CC BY 2.0
We have also shown Torqeedos on Danish GoBoats made from recycled plastic bottles. That's definitely more TreeHugger.
Found on Designboom.