For most of us, admiring this technology from afar will be the best we can muster, but for the few that can afford a Solarwave catamaran, prepare to enjoy virtually unlimited range on this solar powered, electric boat.
Combining the boat building efforts of Solarwave AG out of Switzerland and an electric powertrain by Imecar in Turkey, Solarwave is a 54-foot catamaran free of the constraints of fossil fuels and wind for sails. We can only call this water-vessel a luxury boat, as I imagine a modest multi-millionaire would call their home away from home.
Available in sizes including 54, 64 and 74 feet, prices will start at around US$2.75 million. You’ll enjoy at least four large ‘VIP’ cabins in addition to a large kitchen and lounge area and more. Fine furnishings aside, the boat itself make sup for most of the price, sparing few expenses to build a solid and reliable ocean-going vessel.
Specifications of a solar boat
Under the hood, so to speak, is a full carbon fiber body, a 15 kW solar array on top and a 80 kWh battery pack powering twin 60 kW electric motors down below. An optional diesel engine can be installed, for those that need a little more performance.
The battery pack on the first Solarwave is of Kokam lithium polymer pouch cells, but you can sling your jokes now, the second boat will have Samsung’s latest cells on board.
We keep saying that Solarwave offers unlimited range, this is only true under optimal light conditions and a cruising speed of 5 knots. We’re not going to say that you won’t want to cross the Atlantic at this speed, but if you’ve got a few books to read and a love of the open seas, fuel and wind need not be your concern heading out on that adventure. You can bump up to about 15 knots if you are not afraid of draining your batteries before nightfall, or fire up that optional diesel powerplant for more traditional ocean crossing speeds.
Production is slow, but already they have 9 orders in the works. As I said, the select few are going to be floating around in the sun for virtually no fuel costs in no time.
Let’s play the theoretical game, if you were purchasing a Solarwave, would you trust solar and electric only, or would you also install the diesel powerplant?