Sunday, May 31, 2009

An Electric Jet Ski As Quick As It Is Expensive

A San Francisco startup packed with endurance athletes and engineers from places like Apple is building an electric jet ski that could do for wave riding what Tesla Motors has done for driving.

Eco Watercraft says the Eco1 will do more than 60 mph. As quick as that is, it’s nothing compared to the price. The little water rocket will go for $32,000 when it goes into production in 2011.

He assembled a team of engineers from Apple and Electric Motorsports, which is building a motorcycle for the TTxGP green grand prix, to develop the Eco1. Much of the technology is “top-secret,” but Taylor says it will use lithium-ion batteries with a run time of three hours. When the batteries are dead, three hours plugged into a 240-volt outlet will get you back in action. Plug it into a household 110-volt outlet and you’re looking at a six hour recharge time.

Taylor hopes to unveil the Eco 1 at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii next October. He says a second prototype with a carbon fiber hull will be finished in five weeks and the company will start taking orders by the end of the year.

Once production on the Eco1 begins, Taylor says, the company will start work on an “economy” model with a little less performance and a price around $10,000 to $12,000.

Watching the video, I am reminded of the dream I had when I used to work in the Embarcadero Center in downtown San Francisco. I wanted to live on Treasure Island and then commute via jet ski each day. In this dream I would wear my business suit under a wet suit and then rip the wet suit off James Bond style when I would get to shore. Too late for me, but looks like the next generation will have an eco-friendly way to live the dream.

via Wired

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