Marine

Futuristic hydrofoiling electric speedboats to face off in E1 Series

Futuristic hydrofoiling electr...
The E1 series has revealed the hydrofoiling race boats it'll run starting from 2023
The E1 series has revealed the hydrofoiling race boats it'll run starting from 2023
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The E1 series has revealed the hydrofoiling race boats it'll run starting from 2023
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The E1 series has revealed the hydrofoiling race boats it'll run starting from 2023
The Racebird design is designed to hit 50 knots, foiling some 40 cm over the surface
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The Racebird design is designed to hit 50 knots, foiling some 40 cm over the surface
The boats will be 3 m wide with the foil wings taken into account
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The boats will be 3 m wide with the foil wings taken into account
Twelve teams are expected to compete, and you'll be able to buy a commercial version of the boat too
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Twelve teams are expected to compete, and you'll be able to buy a commercial version of the boat too
Foiling some 40 cm over the surface, the E1 race boats will top out around 50 knots
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Foiling some 40 cm over the surface, the E1 race boats will top out around 50 knots
The E1 series will feature head-to-head zero-emissions powerboat racing
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The E1 series will feature head-to-head zero-emissions powerboat racing
The foiling design will leave very little wake behind it, which will make life easier for boats behind the leader and encourage closer, more exciting racing
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The foiling design will leave very little wake behind it, which will make life easier for boats behind the leader and encourage closer, more exciting racing
View gallery - 7 images

Formula E-style electric racing is set to hit the water with a new E1 series due to kick off in 2023. Today we get our first look at the "Racebird" powerboat design, and these high-speed hydrofoiling racers will certainly make for exciting watching.

On land, despite a rocky start, Formula E has steadily grown its audience some 24 percent a year, particularly among younger viewers, and the Extreme E electric off-road series drew 18.7 million viewers in its first race – showing that there's definitely interest in competitive electric racing. The E1 series seeks to get things started offshore, as an electrified version of the F1H20 powerboat racing series, and it's already fully sanctioned by the international powerboat racing authority, the UIM.

Today, we get our first look at the race boats, and they're certainly going to raise some eyebrows. A given amount of energy doesn't tend to go a long way in the high-drag environment of water, so the E1 team has decided to go with a hydrofoil design, that'll lift these boats some 40 cm (16 in) over the surface of the water, nearly eliminating drag and looking extremely cool in the process.

The E1 series will feature head-to-head zero-emissions powerboat racing
The E1 series will feature head-to-head zero-emissions powerboat racing

The Racebird boats, designed by Seabird Technologies and Victory Marine will feature full carbon bodies with wings out the sides that fold under to form the front hydrofoils, and an extended wing tail on the outboard motor for the rear foil. The cabin is fully enclosed, as with the high-speed gasoline powerboats, so they'll look like spaceships skimming the surface.

At 7 m (23 ft) long and 3 m (9.8 ft) wide including those foil wings, the boats will weigh around 800 kg (1,764 lb) in total and reach speeds up to 50 knots (93 km/h, 58 mph). It's a long way from the death-defying 250-km/h (155-mph) top speeds of the gasoline-powered F1H20 class. Indeed, there are plenty of speedboats and cigarette boats on the market capable of going quicker, but electric boating is difficult and this is a start. And the foiling design could make head-to-head racing more competitive, since there's basically very little wake to interfere with a following boat.

We'll see a prototype later this year, and production is due for 2022. Twelve teams are expected to compete, with the first race penciled in for early 2023 and no official venues announced as yet. One benefit to cities that participate will be that the E1 series will leave charging facilities in place wherever it goes, for public use by electric boat owners.

Sunbird has stated it'll also be developing a version of the boat for commercial sale, so that'll be neat.

Check out a short video below, or tune in here for the full launch announcement.

Inside The E1 Series RaceBird | Close up shots of the all-electric powerboat!

Source: E1 Series

View gallery - 7 images
4 comments
4 comments
martinwinlow
Hydrofoil watercraft is clearly as significant an emerging market as EVs are in general. What exciting times to be alive!
happy65
What is the point of all these pictures being taken in the dark? Is this supposed to be artistic? Because its not! Its a waste of good space. Learn to take great photos or stop posting them.
Demosthenes
# happy 65: You don't understand, the new electric racing boats only run at night.
dugnology
It ain't going that fast with a prop like that. Are the foils supercavitating?