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E1 RaceBird Electric Powerboat Gets Real — Video

What do you get when you cross a Candela electric hydrofoil and a Formula E race car? You’d probably get something like this, the RaceBird electric powerboat. It’s fast, it’s sexy, and it promises big offshore thrills in an innovative racing format designed to maximize spectator engagement and visual spectacle — and they’ve got the talent to do it.

Let’s start with the racing. The RaceBird was designed to compete in the E1 World Electric Powerboat Series. That series is the brainchild of Alejandro Agag and Rodi Basso. Agag is also the founder of the Formula E and Extreme E electric racing series, so he has a proven track record. So, too, does Rodi Basso, who was Director of Motorsport at McLaren.

That’s all well and good — but the big draw is undoubtedly the RaceBird electric foil. Designed by Sophi Horne, the RaceBird is designed to be sleek, swift, and safe.  “Originally we had proposed another design with an open cockpit, but we needed more safety,” said Horne, at the boat’s static debut. “This new design [is] built by Victory Marine, which is also involved in the development of the technology and the foils, has a closed cockpit and an outboard motor a little further back than the first design. The foils are also shorter and more centered, so the boat can turn faster. We’ve put a lot of work into the foil design to produce a boat that is even more efficient than the first design.”

Sophi’s RaceBird is an incredible concept (#grrlpower), and it’s just taken its first steps into the real world.

Well done, Sophi!

E1 RaceBird Electric Race boat - hydrofoil

Image courtesy E1 Racing.

Earlier this year, I had a chance to chat with Rodi Basso about some of the concepts and technology that helped shape the E1 Racing series, and even the RaceBird itself. One of the questions I asked him dealt, specifically, with whether or not electric motors lent themselves to marine applications and foils, in particular. Rodi answered, “[Electric drive] benefits in a way because the amount of time needed to get the RaceBird to ‘take off’ will be the minimum possible. We have bet on the dramatic visual effect of these boats taking off out of the water and that level of acceleration is only possible because of the use of electric propulsion.”

Sounds like a pretty sound endorsement of e-mobility to us! You can watch the dramatic “first flight” of the E1 RaceBird racing foil for yourself, below — but be warned: if you’re looking for a silent and serene little craft gliding gently above the surface of the water, this ain’t it! Enjoy!!

E1 RaceBird’s Historic First Flight

Source | Images: E1 Racing.

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I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and have been a part of the Important Media Network since 2008. You can find me here, working on my Volvo fansite, riding a motorcycle around Chicago, or chasing my kids around Oak Park.


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