Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Is a Plug-in, Electric Hybrid Powerboat in Your Future?

At this point, we certainly don't see it's innovative powerplant replacing a couple of Merc 1075s, or an Ilmor V-10, but the potential offered by Epic Boats 23e does provide some food for thought in regards to going fast on the water. Right now, for about $150,000, you can slide behind the helm of this first-generation, 3200 lb electric hybrid boat, which claims to offer the battery-powered equivalent of a 375-horsepower motorboat. I tend to doubt that claim, since my 23-year old, 325-hp Mercruiser will push my 42oo lb 26' Formula to 55+....something that I don't think this boat would be able to do with its 800 lbs. of batteries. But I could be wrong.


The 23e uses a "Flux Propulsion" EVO 8.1 Marine Drive System to recharge itself over a four-hour run via gas motor, allowing it to use about half of what a similar wakeboat might use to pull a wakeboarder or skier. While that may seem kind of pricey for what you get, it's reported that 2012 may bring a $70,000 version.

The applied vinyl graphics look pretty nice (in a wake-boardy kind of way) and the video seems to demonstrate pretty decent performance for a ski boat. Of course, the big question is whether this type of power could ever be pumped up enough to deliver poker-run-ready-performance for the offshore crowd, who demand a lot more speed than the typical ski-boater.

If it ever could be, this technology would definitely go a long way toward making high-performance offshore powerboating a little bit "greener." The 23e offers:

- Over 50% reduced total carbon dioxide emissions
- Virtually no risk of CO poisoning with our hybrid drive system
- The Epic 23E burns 50% less fuel than a typical wakeboard boat on a 4 hour wakeboard outing
- Wakeboard for 1 hour on batteries without ever burning a drop of fuel
- Wakesurf for 3 hours on batteries without using any fuel
- It can be fully re-charged by the generator in about an hour
- The 23e can be re-charged from a typical 110v wall outlet or a 220v wall outlet once you're at home or at the dock

For more information, go to Epic Boats Website.

1 comment:

Gianna said...

Nice! Happy holidays to everyone!

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