Electric boats are hardly a new idea but lo-fi battery technology means they need recharging every few hours, doesn’t it?

The Thames Electric Launch Company is attempting to set a new world non-stop endurance record for electric boats. The challenge is to cover over 140 miles in 30 hours, non-stop and without recharging. The Electric Boat Association will verify and ratify the result. The present record is 116 miles in 24 hours set in 1997.

The attempt will be made on the River Thames over a measured distance starting at 12 noon August 10 and ending 12 noon August 11. The distance will consist of 14 laps of a ten mile course, up and down stream, to counter the effects of the current.

The boat used will be a 29ft classic river launch built in 1901. It will be fitted with a state-of-the-art electrically-powered Lynch motor designed and built in the UK. Batteries used will be extended-range traction batteries which give around 20 per cent extra range and performance over conventional batteries. The cost of the power for the 140 mile trip will, the company says, be less than ‘1.50.