The all-electric Frauscher Mirage Air: A $240,000 Grand Tourer for the water
Frauscher Bootswerft was one of the first upmarket boat builders to offer a high performance electric cruiser in 2015 when it first released the 740 Mirage Air. In its initial 2015 iteration, the center console 7.47-meter (24.5-ft), eight-person Mirage Air utilized Torqeedo's 60-kW Deep Blue inboard motor, which provided performance roughly the equivalent of an 80-hp gas outboard, and had a limited range of around 50 km (31 mi).
With the 2019 European Boat Show season set to kick off, this season Frauscher will be showing the next model of the 740 Mirage Air, which has seen power increase from 60 kW to 100 kW, and battery capacity more than double from 37.5 kWh to 80 kWh.
Everything else is the same, but the 70 percent extra power and 113 percent extra power storage mean the Mirage has been transformed. At partial throttle, it will glide absolutely silently at 10 km/h (6 mph) for more than 10 hours, allowing the boat to become the day cruiser the designers intentioned, and at the same time offer access to the many environments that have already banned gas-powered watercraft.
The new boat will run between 33 and 36 km (20 and 22 mi) at its top speed of 50 km/h (27 knots/31 mph) depending on the conditions, which is quite some feat for an electric powertrain on water, and if you're prepared to cruise at more relaxed speeds, the range balloons.
The 7.47-meter yacht was designed by studio KISKA, Thomas Gerzer, and hydrodynamic expert Harry Miesbauer, and the parallels with an automotive GT (Grand Tourer) supercar are more than just visual. The dynamic lines are specifically designed to enable the Mirage Air to plane efficiently and the low range torque of the electric motor quickly lifts the boat onto the plane.
The motor is exactly the same size as last model, which means this €213,360 (including 20 percent VAT – approximately US$239,000) Grand Tourer sports car for the water has suddenly grown wings, and can be enjoyed over a far greater range.
The primary advantages of the electric motor in comparison to internal combustion engines are ease-of-maintenance and exceptional torque at low rpm. Just the same, the additional premium customers must pay for silent and clean electric power is evident.
Torqeedo's electric power train utilizes two 40-kWh Deep Blue batteries, the same batteries used by BMW in its i3 electric car, coming with a nine-year warranty. The long-term battery capacity warranty means that nine years after commissioning, the batteries will still have 80 percent of their original capacity, even if you use them every day.
Charging remains the big limiting factor, with the systems charged at 3.3 kW per hour with the standard Marina power of 230V, or 9.9 kW per hour using the optional quick-charge with 400V.
The gas-engined Mirage Air costs €177,480 with 220 hp and more horsepower can be added up to 350 hp for little extra cost. By comparison, the 100-kW Mirage Air costs €213,360. It comes standard with a JL Audio sound system, a refrigerated compartment, ambient lighting and a teak deck.
The 740 Mirage is not just designed for low maintenance, but is the epitome of easy-to-use, with an electric anchor winch and a bow thruster for fool proof docking.