Most electric vehicle news is about electrifying transportation that has wheels. This news trend has grown largely because of the success of Tesla, the world’s top EV manufacturer. Legacy automakers have been trying to catch up with Tesla, generating even more attention with various offerings such as the Chevy Bolt, VW ID.4, and others. There are also wheeled electric vehicle options in the form of motorcycles, scooters, e-bikes, and skateboards. Transportation occurs in air and on water, so aircraft and boats and ships will benefit from electrification too, though, at the moment, there are far fewer electric air and watercraft.
Gas- and diesel-powered boats sometimes accidentally release gas and oil into marine and aquatic environments where they harm saltwater and freshwater animals and smaller organisms. They also contaminate water bodies, and boat exhaust is also toxic. In the US, there were approximately 11.84 million registered recreational boats in the year 2020, according to Statista. They generate a lot of pollution, including some degree of noise pollution.
Electric boats, like electric vehicles with wheels, have a number of advantages, some of which are detailed below in the following interview with the Arc Boat Company, a startup based in Los Angeles, CA, that is developing an all-electric pleasurecraft named the Arc One. In November 2021, the startup received a $30 million dollar funding round. (This was in addition to previous funding.) The Arc One, priced at $300,000, is not for all boaters, it’s a limited-edition vessel.
Ted Herringshaw, Head of Product at the Arc Boat Company, answered some questions about the Arc One for CleanTechnica.
Why did you decide to make all-electric boats?
Gas boats are unreliable, costly to use and maintain, and horrible for the air and waterways they operate in. Electric boats not only solve those issues but are also quieter, quicker, and (in our case) more performant. We’re confident the future of this industry is electric, and we’d like to accelerate the transition.
What is the length, width, and weight of the Arc One?
The Arc One measures 24 feet long and 102 inches (8 feet, 6 inches) across. We haven’t released the final weight, but expect it to be comparable to other boats of this size and towable by common large trucks / SUVs.
What is the motor size, horsepower, battery capacity, and battery chemistry?
The boat has a 350 kilowatt (475 horsepower) motor and 200 kWh of battery capacity split across two battery packs. For comparison, that battery capacity is approximately twice that of the highest-capacity Tesla Model S or X. We haven’t disclosed the chemical composition of the battery.
What is the top speed, time to charge, and cost?
The Arc One has a top speed of just over 40 mph. It will recharge overnight with a standard 240V charger (i.e. Level 2), and is capable of charging significantly faster with a DC fast charger (i.e. Level 3). A single charge should cost $10-$20.
Are you manufacturing your own batteries or partnering with a battery manufacturer?
Our battery packs are manufactured in-house at our facility in Los Angeles, CA.
What is the boat’s warranty and what does it cover?
Yes, the boat comes with a warranty. Details will be provided shortly before the boat goes for sale.
What are some advantages electric boats have over gas- or diesel-powered boats?
We genuinely believe electric boats are superior to gas boats in every way; we even wrote a blog post about it. This includes:
- Reliability: Electric boats have substantially fewer moving parts and points of failure than gas boats. We’re excited about how many maintenance-related headaches Arc will be able to prevent in the future.
- Cost to maintain: A typical day on the lake costs $10-$20 to recharge compared to $100-$200 for a similar outing on a gas boat.
- Noise: Electric motors are much quieter than their gas counterparts — you can actually have a conversation at speed.
- Performance: Electric boats respond more quickly to the throttle, which makes for a snappier ride. It also makes it easier to pull a skier out of the water.
- Emissions: Electric boats don’t pump CO2 into the air or leak oil and gas into the water when they operate.
- Access: Some waterways in North America and Europe are starting to ban combustion engines entirely, meaning there are already a lot of places where only electric boats can go.
When will the Arc One be available to purchase and where will it be available?
The Arc One will go on sale to customers on our waitlist later this spring. It’s available to purchase in the US and Canada.
Will it come with a charger or what kind of chargers does it work with?
The Arc One can be charged using a variety of methods — from a standard wall outlet (Level 1) to something you’d use to power an electric car in your garage (Level 2), or even a DC fast charger (Level 3). The boat uses an industry-standard charging port (CCS1), and charging cables for both Level 1 and Level 2 charging will be included with the boat.
What is the passenger capacity?
The boat will seat 10 people (very) comfortably.
What are some of the onboard amenities, such as stereo system, sunshade, boat cover, etc.?
Onboard amenities include fully integrated custom software, premium speakers, wireless phone charging mats, and an integrated swim platform. There will also be ample storage for gear.
How many Arc Ones will you manufacture and will you manufacture additional models?
We’re not releasing specific production numbers, but the Arc One will be an exclusive, limited-edition boat. We expect to manufacture and deliver all Arc Ones to customers this year before transitioning to future models.
Does the vessel come with a trailer and if not, will standard trailers work for hauling?
Yes, the price of the boat includes a trailer.
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