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Is the Quadrofoil the Tesla of Boats?

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Quadrofoil personal watercraft (c) Quadrofoil d.o.o.
Quadrofoil electric personal watercraft
(c) Quadrofoil d.o.o.

We have a bunch of electric vehicles driving around, but none are as iconic as the Tesla Model S. In its current incarnation, the P85D, it resembles a gas-guzzling sports car more than the golf cart which it shares its fuel with.

Now a company is trying to electrify boats in the same way that Tesla charged electric cars. Quadrofoil came out with an “electric personal watercraft” that looks like something that James Bond would take on a high speed boat chase.

As far as looks are concerned, the Quadrofoil fits the bill. It’s futuristic looking, looking more like a space ship than a boat. It comes with hydrofoils that allow the craft to fly over water when the speed reaches 6 knots (about 7 mph or 11 kph). This allows it to minimize the craft’s wake as it wades through environmentally protected marine sanctuaries. Furthermore, thanks to its electric motor, not only does it not emit noxious fumes typical of boats, it also virtually makes no sound so that it doesn’t scare away fish or turtles. What’s more, because it uses a hollow hull made of composites, the boat is virtually unsinkable, unlike the Titanic.  It actually makes for a smooth sail, as can be seen in the following video:

And the coolness doesn’t stop there, you steer it using a touchscreen steering wheel that shows battery life, the boat’s speed and range, which is a bit over 60 miles according to the designers.

Unfortunately, that’s where the similarities with 007 stop, unless you’re like Daniel Craig in a wooden fishing boat in Quantum of Solace. Because the Quadrofoil can only go up to 21 knots (about 24 mph or 44 kph), it can be easily passed by a jet ski. It also has no on-board storage so you can only take it out on a stroll and would definitely get lost at sea if you go out a bit further than you need to.

Aside from the looks, the price tag is pretty much like that of a Tesla. It goes for $18,700 per boat, that can probably get you a few Seadoos that the villains in the Bond films are very likely to use.

Quadrofoil’s president and CEO, Marjan Rožman recognizes the problems but told the Huffington Post that his objective is for “Quadrofoil to become a synonym for electrical personal watercrafts” and that future offerings will have much more.

In the meantime, the boating industry doesn’t seem to be as charged in the way that Tesla did with the auto industry when it came up with its Boxster.

I hope that they double, nay, quadruple their efforts to come up with a lean and mean electric boat that takes advantage of electric motor’s high torque.  That way, we’ll have yet another electric vehicle that we can use to save the world with.

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