Monday, March 09, 2009

Hybrid Wakeboat

One of the guys behind the Aptera Motors EV is turning his eco-consciousness to boating with a 375-horsepower cruiser he calls the world's first hybrid sports boat.

Chris Anthony, who co-founded the company producing the Aptera 2e electric car, says the Epic Wakeboats 23E burns 50 percent less fuel and emits half as much CO2 as a typical wakeboard boat during a four-hour outing on the water. It also represents a new direction for gas-electric technology in boats.

The sleek 22-footer is a series hybrid that uses a small gasoline engine to drive a generator that keeps the lithium-ion batteries going as they approach depletion. It's similar to what you'll find under the hood of the Chevrolet Volt, and we haven't heard of anyone using something like this in a boat.

He says it produces the equivalent of 375 horsepower, enough to propel the 23E to 36 mph while burning far less fuel than comparable vessels. The 23E allows for a one hour wakeboarding session without burning a drop of fuel.

All this technology ain't cheap, with the boat expected to cost as much as $150,000 when it hits the water in July. Epic hopes to produce a $70,000 model by 2012, and it's considering a diesel-electric model down the line.
via Wired

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