Electric boats are here and they are quietly turning heads all over the world, we pick out 6 of the most exciting all-electric and hybrid projects being built right now.
Electric boats and hybrid powertrains are by no means a new concept in the marine world, but the latest generation of electric boats is proving that this technology is no longer something to look forward to in the future, electric boats are a viable option right now.
Here at MBY.com, we’ve been following the electric boats revolution with intent for over a decade and now there are enough models on the market to make this style of boat a true competitor to conventional diesel and petrol-powered boats.
Read on for our round-up of the best electric boats currently in build.
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Greenline 40 Hybrid
Slovenian yard Greenline Yachts has been at the vanguard of the electric boats movement even since the launch of the award-winning Greenline 33 Hybrid in 2009, and they recently became the first major manufacturer to offer their entire 33-48ft range in all-electric, hybrid or conventionally powered versions.
The Greenline 40 Hybrid is a great example of this electrical innovation in action, with a pair of electric motors that offer silent 7-knot cruising for up to 3 hours, and six 1.8kW solar panels that generate enough power to run the yacht’s entire 240V domestic electrical system.
A conventional Volvo Penta D3 diesel engine means you’ve still got 22 knots of speed and 700nm of range when you need it though.
Greenline Hybrid 40 at a glance
LOA: 39ft 4in (11.99m)
Beam: 13ft 9in (4.2m)
Power: Twin 220hp Volvo Penta D3 diesel/Twin 10kW electric motors
Top speed: 22 knots (diesel)
Cruising speed: 6.5 knots (electric)
Range: 20nm (electric) / 700nm (diesel)
Starting price: €390,000
X Shore Eelex 8000
Elon Musk brought electric cars into the mainstream with Tesla and Konrad Bergstrom hopes that his brand X Shore can do the same for electric boats.
“An electric boat should be better than an electric car,” he predicted in 2019. “Above 50kmh the tyre noise of an electric car is really annoying, but in a boat you only hear the pleasant sound of water breaking against the hull.”
This has been put into practice with X Shore’s debut model, the Eelex 800, which promises a 35-knot top speed thanks to an innovative drivetrain and a stepped hull that has been through 3,000 hours of testing at Rolls-Royce’s marine engineering facility.
X Shore Eelex 8000 at a glance
LOA: 26ft 3in (8.0m)
Beam: 8ft 6in (2.6m)
Top speed: 35 knots
Cruising speed: 22 knots
Starting price: €249,000
Silent Yachts 55
During our Mallorca sea trial, we estimated a maximum cruising range of 59nm before you need to fire up the generator to recharge the batteries, and subsequent yard tests have proved that this 19-tonne behemoth can hit a top speed of 17 knots on electric power alone.
Silent 55 at a glance
LOA: 54ft 8in (16.7m)
Beam: 27ft 7in (8.46m)
Top speed: 17 knots
Cruising speed: 6 knots
Starting price: €1,970,000
RS Sailing is one of the biggest names in the dinghy market, so the fact that they’ve turned their attention to producing electric RIBs speaks volumes about the potential they see in this burgeoning sector.
The 46kWh Nissan Leaf-based battery pack offers a projected 30nm range at 20 knots, while the innovative hubless rim drive is claimed to be more efficient than a conventional propeller at speeds up to 25 knots due to reduced tip losses and more effective transmission of the electric motor’s high torque characteristics.
RS plans to build 50 Pulse 63s in 2022, taking this technology firmly into the mainstream.
RS Pulse 63 at a glance
LOA: 20ft 8in (6.3m)
Beam: 7ft 7in (2.3m)
Top speed: 23 knots
Cruising speed: 10 knots
Starting price: £69,000 (ex. VAT)
The Candela C-7 has an edge on all the other electric boats on this list as it boasts the power of foiling technology – a world first.
Built in Sweden, this flying electric boat is not just eye-catching, it creates minimal drag due to those space-age foils that lift the hull clear of the water.
That explains how it can deliver a 30-knot top speed and a 55nm cruising range with just 55Kw of power.
Candela C-7 at a glance
Top speed: 30 knots
Cruising speed: 20 knots
Starting price: TBC
Frauscher 650 Alassio
We have strict European inland boating regulations to thank for the rise of Frauscher, another Austrian firm helping to push electric boat technology forward.
A variety of all-electric drivetrains are offered with this model, from a 4.3kW motor that offers just 14nm of range at 5 knots, to a chunky Torqeedo/BMW combo that kicks out 60kW for a top speed of 18 knots and a cruising range of 42nm at 5 knots.
Frauscher 650 Alassio at a glance
LOA: 21ft 4in (6.5m)
Beam: 7ft 2in (2.2m)
Top speed: 18 knots
Cruising speed: 5.4 knots
Starting price: TBC