Electric stand-up PWC loses the noise, keeps the fun
Gasoline-powered stand-up personal water-craft (PWC) aren't all that popular at the moment, with emissions rules and safety concerns pushing them out of favor. That doesn't mean there's not a market for them, though. One solution is to buy used and hoon around making noise, burning fuel and generally being a pain for everyone on the beach. Failing that you could turn to the team at Free Form Factory (FFF), which has created a fully-electric stand-up PWC.
Power for the FFF Gratis X1 comes from a liquid-cooled 6.5-kWh battery nestled deep in the hull. The standard battery pack is good for around 45 minutes of riding, but an additional 3.3-kWh power pack can boost that to a full hour. According to the team, most gas-powered PWC riders don't run for more than an hour at a time, making the battery capacity more than enough for the average user.
Charging takes between 90 minutes and four hours depending on the socket used, and FFF says the PWC can be juiced up on any standard wall plug or propane generator. That also means it can probably be topped up on a diesel generator, but that isn't exactly in keeping with the clean, green image the company is after.
Performance hasn't suffered in the switch from gas to battery power, with a top speed of 40 knots (46 mph or 74 km/h) from the Zero Motorcycles powertrain making it just as fast as the average fossil-fuel guzzling PWC. It will also accelerate like mad, with peak torque on tap from standstill and just 380 lb (172 kg) to hustle around. If electric cars are anything to go by, the infinitely-customizable nature of electric power delivery should also make it silky-smooth, perfect for getting new riders into the sport.
The Gratis X1's green credentials don't end with the powertrain, as the whole PWC has been built with the environment in mind. The whole deck and hull are built of a special polymer blend that is 100 percent recyclable, and any leftover material or offcuts are saved and put into making the next batch of hulls.
"Every step of the manufacturing process ismodeled with the highest of green standardspossible in mind, with superior performance," says Jordan Darling, Free Form Factory CEO. "We believe it is important to reduce our negativeimpact on the environmentand we are determinedto reach our goal of zerowaste."
Keen riders are able to track their performance using the inbuilt dashboard, which will look familiar to anyone who's taken a look at a Zero motorbike. It hooks up to an iOS/Android app, and can share information about the current charge status, how long a full charge will take and how much gas has been saved by going pure-electric.
The FFF Gratis X1 is up for pre-order at the moment, with a starting price of US$17,990.
You can take a look at the Gratis X1 in action in the video below.
Source: Free Form Factory