Activity in the electric hydrofoil watercraft arena has been hectic in recent times with the advent of electric-powered hydrofoil boats such as the eDorado and Quadrofoil Q2, and more recently, and a demonstration of the electric Jetfoiler without plans to commercialize the concept. Now, it looks certain we'll see a commercial electric-powered hydrofoil surfboard on the market in the form of Lift Foils' new eFoil.
The power of the eFoil electric hydrofoil surfboard is controlled by a wireless hand controller and the rider's "body English," with the waterproof controller using Bluetooth connectivity and designed so that it floats if it should be dislodged from the rider's hands.
The eFoil has a top speed of 22 knots (25 mph), and deliveries will begin in September of this year for US$12,000.
The eFoil board will initially be available in two sizes: 168 cm x 71 cm (5 ft 6 in by 28 in) for the standard E1 eFoil, and 152.5 cm x 63.5 cm (5 ft 6 in by 25 in) for the E1 Sport model. "The standard eFoil is more stable with the bigger deck, while the smaller board is more nimble and turns quicker," according to Lift Foils founder Nick Leason.
Both models will be available in four colors: carbon black, carbon free, carbon blue and carbon purple. A variety of masts and foil wings for specific purposes, such as surfing, will also be available.
Production will begin in September with volume production scaling up in October, though the order books are already threatening to overwhelm production capabilities and if you want one prior to Christmas, be quick.
"The top speed of the eFoil is about 22 knots (25 mph), though it's a pretty exciting ride at that speed, and my preferred cruising speed on the eFoil tends to be a bit less than that where the ride is not quite as crazy," Leason told New Atlas.
"At that speed (22 knots), you're burning quite a bit of juice and although I've never actually run it at full speed for that long, I'd expect you might only get 20 to 25 minutes from a full charge," said Leason. "I'm 175 pounds and typically I ride anywhere from 45 to 55 minutes at my cruising speed of 16 to 17 knots."
For those who want to get the most from their eFoil, the battery is a stand-alone unit with an integrated carrying handle and easily swapped, with a second battery available at $3,000. The battery can be recharged via a normal home power outlet and the 1,200 watt charger that comes with each eFoil, with recharging taking around two and a half hours.
"Inside the board is a big waterproof compartment that houses the battery and other electrics," said Leason. "To access the battery, you open two compression latches and the battery is secured by a seat belt arrangement. It's easily accessible and can be swapped out easily and quickly."
"The battery is two kilowatt hours (2 kWh) though, so it offers quite a long ride and I don't think that most people will need a second battery," he added.
Lift Foils is run by American Nick Leason from Puerto Rico, though the majority of the eFoil's components are being manufactured in Asia, including all composite components and the hand controller, while the batteries are being manufactured in San Francisco.
"Everything is being assembled here in Puerto Rico where we can monitor the quality assurance and ensure everything is exactly as we want it to be," said Leason. "That will change in the future, but only once we're confident we can maintain the quality.
"We'll be scaling up production one step at a time, and I'm currently bringing on additional suppliers for each of the components and we'll continue to scale up production across 2018 in preparation for manufacturing a broader range in 2019.
"The aim is to have a couple of different price points and a couple of boards with different construction materials. I'm hoping for a linear growth in our production capacity over the next few years."
You can see more of the eFoil in the mini documentary video below.
Source: Lift Foils