Slick electric hydrofoil looks to rise above range anxiety
Many of the electric boats we've covered fall into two broad categories: modestly powered vessels limited to floating around at low speeds (some even have names like "Picnic" and "Joyboat") and fancy speedboats with serious electric muscle ... and the serious price to match. Dutch startup Edorado believes that hydrofoils are the key to creating a middle ground. The hydrofoil tech on its all-new 7S twin-drive electric boat promises a comfortable mix of speed and range while not digging that deep into your wallet – or at least not so deep as a NOX SV or Mercedes/Cigarette electric boat might burrow.
The 23.3-foot (7.1-m) 7S stirs up the water with twin propeller drives, each hooked up to a 40-kW electric motor. It makes the most of that electric powertrain by relying on a set of surface-piercing hydrofoils to lift the hull up out of the water and cut drag. The vessel starts rising up and out at 18 knots (33 km/h) and continues until it reaches a top speed of 40 knots (74 km/h).
In addition to helping with speed, the hydrofoils work to squeeze the most range out of the battery, up to 43 nautical miles (80 km) when cruising at 25 knots (46 km/h). Edorado offers three battery options: a 42 kWh pack, 49 kWh pack and dual 28-kWh packs.
"The hydrofoil design minimizes the required power up to 40 knots. It is stable in pitch, heave, and roll, so the boat's safety doesn't depend on an active control system, which would be complex, redundant, and expensive," explains Tom Speer, the boat's hydrodynamic designer.
Edorado isn't the first company to think of the idea of combining electric power and hydrofoil technology. In the past, we've looked at the Quadrofoil, a distinctive electric personal watercraft (PWC) with a range of up to 54 nautical miles (100 km) and speeds up to 21 knots (39 km/h). By comparison, the 7S is much more a traditional boat and has nearly double the speed, less range and a lot more price.
Beyond the electric propulsion and hydrofoils, the 7S is a sleek, stylish silver bullet open to the sky above. The captain and passengers sit on sport seats, behind a small windscreen. The interior includes a 15-in sunlight-readable touchscreen navigation control center, an eight-speaker audio system and a cooled picnic set. There's also a set of retractable swimming steps in back.
All the performance specs are estimates from Edorado, and the company is showing a bunch of renderings, but no actual photos or videos of a boat or prototype. It says that it has been developing the 7S for the past two years and is now preparing for production. It lists the 7S base price at US$150,000/€135,000 euro and is taking reservations for the Launch Edition.
Source: Edorado Marine