Cyberboats

We’ve got the Tesla Cybertruck, so I was wondering about the state of “cyberboats”: all electric boats.

The Electric boat entry on Wikipedia is a useful starting point for the history, including that the invention of the internal combustion engine put a stop to early electric boat experiments.

The Canadian Electric Boat Company has 15-20ft launches for sale, powered by BMW batteries.

X Shore, based in Sweden, crowd-funded an investment round, and won a 2020 German Design award.

Torqueedo makes various electric powered outboards for power and sail boats.

The Boat Trader Hybrid and Electric Boats Guide is a good overview of the topic.

A November 2019 article covers the electrification of Washington State Ferries:

To accomplish this ambitious plan, the agency is starting by converting the three largest ferries in the fleet from diesel to hybrid-electric propulsion. The three Jumbo Mark II boats — the Tacoma, Puyallup and Wenatchee — are the biggest fuel consumers, burning together 14,000 gallons of diesel a day. They usually run on the Seattle-to-Bainbridge and Edmonds-to-Kingston routes.

At the same time, the state has contracted Seattle-based Vigor to build up to five electric-hybrid Olympic class ferry boats, which the state hopes to put into service from 2022 through 2028. They are smaller than the Jumbo Mark II boats and are estimated to cost between $140 million to $180 million per vessel.

This is all part of Gov. Jay Inslee’s goal of moving toward a zero-emissions fleet, which today is the largest consumer of diesel fuel in the state, using over 18 million gallons of diesel a year, according to the state.

CBC covers the BC Ferries hybrid electric ferries going through the Panama Canal at the end of December 2019. They should be arriving in Victoria this month:

The two ships are part of BC Ferries’ long-term plan to have an entire fleet that’s powered by electricity. Both vessels are expected to be in operation by mid-2020 following a final inspection and crew training.

 

All six vessels have the capacity to be fully electrical, but until the right infrastructure is in place, BC Ferries says the ships will operate as hybrids.

A September 2019 article has more info.

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