BMW is expanding the scope of its i Division, inserting electrified powertrains into everything from the i3 to big, luxurious limousines. Soon, BMW i power will also be common on the high seas. Along with the Nimbus launched earlier this year, the new 28.5-ft (8.6-m) Hinckley Dasher will take to the ocean with an electric BMW i powertrain hiding within its shapely hull.
The powertrain from the BMW i3 is proving incredibly versatile. Along with their work in cars, the lithium-ion batteries from the little city hatchback have made their way into two-wheeled city scooters and home storage units. BMW i has also teamed up with Torqeedo and adapted them for a life at sea.
The new battery system was launched in Dusseldorf, where Torqeedo was at pains to explain how much more energy dense (40 percent, as it turns out) the new batteries are than previous examples. They're also shock-resistant and IP67 waterproof, while pent-up gases can be released through a special pressure release safety disc without undermining their water resistance – crucial on the, er, water.
In the Hinckley Dasher, which is being touted as the world's first all-electric luxury yacht, two 40-kWh batteries are hooked up to twin 80-hp (60-kW) Hinckley Whisper motors. That means around 40 mi (64 km) of range while cruising between 18 and 27 mph (29 and 43 km/h), though it drops to between 20 and 25 mi (32 and 40 km) at higher speeds. When the batteries are flat, owners can connect two 50-amp chargers at once for a four-hour charge time.
Without a fuel tank or hefty outboard engines to worry about, the Dasher has the honor of being the lightest Hinckley yacht to date. The hull is made of a carbon-epoxy mix, while 3D printing has been used to precisely shape some of the more intricate forms on the boat. Even the "teak decking" is actually a hand-painted epoxy designed to mimic the look of wood, something the company says helps save on weight and maintenance costs.
On board, the deck has been designed to allow owners a bit of freedom when it comes to layout, and the console has a retractable windshield designed to make it easier for the captain to stay in touch with guests. Touchscreen controls take the place of buttons and dials behind the wheel, which should make it easy to keep a close eye on the battery charge and motor status on the move.
"The Hinckley Whisper Drive silent propulsion system combines the latest hydrodynamics, electric power and digital control systems to achieve the performance handling and maneuverability that discerning clients will expect," says Peter O'Connell, CEO and President of The Hinckley Company.
Reservations are now open for the Hinckley Dasher, which should start (silently) showing up on docks in the 2018 Northern Hemisphere summer.
Source: The Hinckley Company
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