Modular, connected e-boat slips into US waters like an electric eel
Founded in 2016, Swedish boat company X Shore seeks to effect movement toward a more sustainable boat industry. Today, it brings that movement across the Atlantic, launching its 26-ft (8-m) Eelex 8000 for American seafarers who like the idea of a 302-hp pure-electric boat inspired by the natural form of an electric eel. A modular layout makes the Eelex something of a versatile electric SUV of the seas, allowing owners to shuttle mountain bikes, surfboards and kayaks (or people) across the water. And the boat should only improve over time, as X Shore leverages over-the-air updates to fine-tune performance and broaden autonomous capabilities.
X Shore uses this week's Palm Beach International Boat Show to make its US debut. The 302-hp Eelex 8000 it's showing has a top speed of 35 knots (65 km/h) and a cruising speed of 25 knots (46 km/h). The dual-60-kWh lithium-ion batteries mounted below deck combine for a range up to 100 miles (161 km), charging in as few as one to two hours with a supercharger or five to eight hours with a three-phase power plug.
Sustainability isn't merely about motive power, so X Shore also works it into the Eelex's construction, where teak gets replaced with cork and flax fiber and recycled plastic feature in the hull. Even the Earth-toned color selections of "moss," "sandy" and "coffee" complement Mother Nature rather than battling against her.
When it comes to styling, X Shore turns heads by virtue of its minimalist simplicity, in true Scandinavian fashion. The hull of the Eelex 8000 may not immediately bring to mind long, writhing creatures of the sea, but X Shore explains that the boat's robust bow and streamlined body were directly inspired by the South American electric eel. And much like an eel swimming deep below the water's surface, the Eelex 8000 cruises around stealthily, without muffling the soothing murmurs of wind and sea.
Step aboard, and the Eelex 8000 remains as clean, simple and functional as it looks from afar. The helm station stands straight and slim, looking something like a podium below the sleek carbon fiber roof. It keeps the helmsman informed and engaged with a 24-in Garmin marine touchscreen. Cool boxes behind the helm keep beverages close at hand, while integrated storage compartments in the bow steps keep charging equipment and other provisions protected. A swimming ladder deploys from below the stern deck.
The highlight of the Eelex deck comes in its modular design. A series of rails and struts allows owners to easily rearrange and remove furniture, letting the boat quickly shift from sporting endeavors like fishing or diving, to simple cruising, to passenger or gear shuttling. X Shore also assures that the carbon fiber roof can support the likes of bikes, kayaks or canoes.
A connected software platform promises to keep the Eelex at the top of its game for years to come. At launch, that means capabilities such as Garmin smartwatch remote activation and overboard detection, mobile alerts and remote security. The platform analyzes 150 data points per second to track and optimize motor and battery performance, relaying the secure, anonymous data to X Shore so it can develop more focused, user-centric over-the-air (OTA) software updates. X Shore already has its sights on future autonomous OTA upgrades, such as self-docking.
The Eelex 8000 is available now for US order at a starting price of US$329,000. The Palm Beach show started today and runs through Sunday. X Shore can be found at booth "Land 1114."
Source: X Shore