Teslas of the sea? CES showcases electric hydrofoil boats

Jan 5, 2023, 8:44 PM | Updated: Jan 6, 2023, 11:54 am
Samuel Seder, with NAVIER, stands next to video of the NAVIER 30 at the NAVIER booth during the CES...

Samuel Seder, with NAVIER, stands next to video of the NAVIER 30 at the NAVIER booth during the CES tech show Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Las Vegas. The NAVIER 30 is the world's longest range electric hydrofoil boat. It flies 4.5 feet above the water. The NAVIER 30 is 10 times more efficient than a traditional gas boat. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

              Samuel Seder, with NAVIER, stands next to video of the NAVIER 30 at the NAVIER booth during the CES tech show Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Las Vegas. The NAVIER 30 is the world's longest range electric hydrofoil boat. It flies 4.5 feet above the water. The NAVIER 30 is 10 times more efficient than a traditional gas boat. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
            
              Samuel Seder, with NAVIER, stands next to the NAVIER 30's hyrdo foils at the NAVIER booth during the CES tech show Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Las Vegas. The NAVIER 30 is the world's longest range electric hydrofoil boat. It flies 4.5 feet above the water. The NAVIER 30 is 10 times more efficient than a traditional gas boat. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
            
              The NAVIER 30 is shown at the NAVIER booth during the CES tech show Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Las Vegas. The NAVIER 30 is the world's longest range electric hydrofoil boat. It flies 4.5 feet above the water. The NAVIER 30 is 10 times more efficient than a traditional gas boat. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
            
              People look at a boat with a Mercury Avator electric outboard boat motor at the Brunswick booth during the CES tech show Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
            
              An attendee walks by Mercury Avator electric outboard boat motors at the Brunswick booth during the CES tech show Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
            
              Norbert Brosi drives a boat on the Future Helm boat simulator at the Brunswick booth during the CES tech show Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Las Vegas. The technology was on display at the booth to allow convention goers to experience auto boat docking and other technologies both in use and in development. (AP Photo/John Locher)
            
              An attendee walks by Mercury Avator electric outboard boat motors at the Brunswick booth during the CES tech show Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
            
              People walk by a Mercury V12 600 HP gas boat motor at the Brunswick booth during the CES tech show Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Flying cars and self-driving vehicles always get attention at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas, but this year electric recreational boats are making bigger waves.

Swedish company Candela on Thursday unveiled a 28-foot (8.5-meter) electric-powered hydrofoil speedboat that can cruise for over two hours at 20 knots, or about 23 mph. California startup Navier tried to outdo its Scandinavian rival by bringing an electric hydrofoil that’s a little bit longer, though Candela is further along in getting its products to customers.

Even the recreational motorboat conglomerate Brunswick Corporation tried to make a splash in Nevada this week by showing off its latest electric outboard motor — an emerging segment of its mostly gas-powered fleet.

WHY ELECTRIC?

A chief reason is environmental, as well as to save on rising fuel costs. But electric-powered boats — particularly with the sleek foiling designs that lift the hull above the water’s surface at higher speeds — can also offer a smoother and quieter ride.

“You can have a wine glass and it does not spill,” Navier CEO Sampriti Bhattacharyya told The Associated Press last month. “And it’s quiet, extremely quiet. You can have a conversation, unlike on a gas boat.”

WHEN CAN YOU GET ONE?

Candela CEO Gustav Hasselskog said his company has already sold and manufactured 150 of its brand-new C-8 model. The Stockholm-based startup has been scaling up its workforce from 60 employees a year ago to about 400 later this year as it prepares to ramp up production.

But with a roughly $400,000 price tag, neither the C-8 nor Navier’s N30 is aiming to replace the aluminum boat used to fish on the lake. They’ve been described as Teslas of the sea, with hopes that what starts off as a luxury vehicle could eventually help transform the marine industry.

“They tend to be entrepreneurs,” Hasselskog said of Candela’s first customers. “They tend to be tech enthusiasts, if you like, with an optimistic view about the future and the ability of technology to solve all kinds of societal challenges.”

Navier’s investment backers include Google co-founder Sergey Brin, which means he’s probably getting one, too.

ARE BOATERS READY FOR THIS?

Probably not. These early electric boat models are expensive, heavy and could instill more serious “range anxiety” than what drivers have felt about electric cars, said Truist Securities analyst Michael Swartz, who follows the leisure boat industry.

“How safe is it for me to go out in the middle of the week with no one around, miles from shore, in an electric outboard engine?” Swartz said.

Swartz said they might make more sense to use electric motors — such as a new CES offering from Brunswick-owned Mercury Marine — to power a fleet of small rental boats, perhaps at the widely-used boating clubs also run by Brunswick.

“You’re not anywhere near the type of electric boat where you can go 50 miles offshore and go fishing for a couple of hours and come back,” Swartz said. “There’s no technology that can enable you to replicate that experience outside of an internal combustion engine.”

BRING ON THE WATER TAXIS?

Both Candela and Navier are planning for a secondary market of electric ferries that could compete with the gas-powered vehicles that now carry commuters around populated regions such as the Stockholm archipelago or along San Francisco Bay.

Hasselskog said the same technology powering Candela’s new leisure boat will also be used to power a 30-passenger catamaran prototype that could operate in Sweden by summer.

For a city like Stockholm, which has already electrified most of its public ground transportation, its dozens of large ferry boats are an outlier in producing carbon emissions.

“They need something like 220 of these (electric) vessels to replace the current fleet,” Hasselskog said. And instead of running on fixed schedules with empty seats, the smaller electric vehicles might be able to be summoned on demand such as how Uber or Lyft work on land.

AUTOMATIC DOCKING

Many of the companies developing electric boat propulsion also have teams working on making these vehicles more autonomous. But since most recreational boaters like piloting their own boats — and most ferry passengers likely prefer a human captain at the helm — the self-driving innovation is focused on what happens at the marina.

“There’s an intimidation factor with boating and a lot of the intimidation factor you hear from consumers is with docking,” said Swartz, the Truist analyst. “So if that can be made seamless and automated, it’s a huge deal.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Police: Bus overturns in Slovenia, killing 3, injuring more

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — A bus overturned early Friday in northeastern Slovenia, killing three people and injuring several, police said. The accident happened around 5 a.m. near the town of Murska Sobota, police said in a statement. They said an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the crash. Local media said the bus […]
1 day ago
FILE - A view of the German consulate in Istanbul, on June 2, 2016. Turkey has slammed a group of W...
Associated Press

Turkey says West failed to share details of security threat

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey for a second day on Friday railed against a group of Western countries that temporarily shut their consulates in Istanbul, accusing them of failing to share information on the security threat that led to the closures and of aiming to cause harm to Turkey. This week, nine Western nations either […]
1 day ago
Ukrainian State Emergency Service firefighters put out a fire after Russian shelling hit a shopping...
Associated Press

EU officials hold Kyiv talks in show of support for Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Top European Union officials were due to meet Friday in Kyiv with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a show of support for the country as it battles to counter Russia’s invasion and strives to join the EU as well as NATO. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council […]
1 day ago
Tronco, or multiple foot stocks used to to constrain enslaved people, are seen at the Slavery exhib...
Associated Press

Dutch slavery exhibition to open at UN headquarters

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A landmark exhibition on slavery in the Dutch colonial era that was first staged at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum is going on display at the United Nations in New York. The show, titled “Slavery. Ten True Stories of Dutch Colonial Slavery,” will open in the the U.N. headquarters’ visitors’ lobby from Feb. […]
1 day ago
A sister wears headwear showing a picture of The Last Supper, as she and a group of the Catholic fa...
Associated Press

Pope heads to South Sudan to urge peace as fighting kills 27

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Pope Francis opened the second and final leg of his African pilgrimage by heading to South Sudan on Friday, hoping to encourage the young country’s stalled peace process and draw international attention to continued fighting and a worsening humanitarian crisis. Francis had one final appointment Friday in Kinshasa with Congo’s bishops […]
1 day ago
This grab from video released by Adani Enterprises Ltd. on Thursday, Feb.2, 2023 shows Indian billi...
Associated Press

Indian tycoon Adani hit by more losses, calls for probe

NEW DELHI (AP) — Trading in shares in troubled Adani Enterprises gyrated Friday as the flagship company of India’s second-largest conglomerate tumbled 30% and then rebounded after more than a week of heavy losses that have cost it tens of billions of dollars in market value. The debacle, which led Adani to cancel a share […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Teslas of the sea? CES showcases electric hydrofoil boats