BMW is collaborating with luxury yacht builder TYDE to develop a fully electric boat.
- While electric vehicles have taken off in recent years, electric boats have not been met with the same excitement.
- Using TYDE’s yacht-racing technology, BMW hopes to work together to build a single-deck boat that can seat about 12 people and reach speeds of 30 knots—about 34 miles per hour, Engadget reports.
- The boat is called The Icon, and BMW plans for it to be the “flagbearer for sustainable high-end mobility on water.”
- World-renowned composer Hans Zimmer has also developed a soundtrack for the boat. Its sound system supports Dolby Atmos.
Why it’s news
Electric-powered transportation has been slow to take off in fields outside of automobiles. BMW’s partnership with TYDE could change that.
BMW calls The Icon the first of its kind and says its battery-powered motor will bring emission-free travel to luxury transportation.
While TYDE constructed the boat, BMW batteries power the watercraft. Before The Icon, any battery-powered boats had short ranges and were confined to slower speeds. However, The Icon “redefines this relationship between dimensions, top speed, and range of an electrically powered watercraft,” BMW says in its press release.
One of the reasons the boat is so fast is because of TYDE’s yacht-racing technology which provides a boat shape that achieves top speeds more easily. This technology also provides the occupants with a more comfortable ride, even at the boat’s top speeds.
Unlike other gas-powered boats, The Icon makes relatively little noise and does not produce the same vibrations as boats with gas engines. This minimizes the amount of wake passengers will experience.
Of course, the obstacles to electric boats catching on are similar to EVs but magnified. There is no charging infrastructure, weather and waves dramatically reduce range, and people buy boats less frequently than cars, so the adoption rate is much greater.