Arc Boat Co., a startup from Los Angeles is doing what Tesla did for sedans but for watercraft. The young company, which is yet to be a year old has come up with electric boats as it eyes to electrify the watercraft industry.
Recently, the electric boat startup has pocketed a $30 million investment in a Series A funding round led by Greg Reichow, a former Tesla vice president of production and a partner at Eclipse Ventures. Also, existing investors including Andreessen Horowitz and a slew of celebrities including basketball star Kevin Durant, actor Will Smith and musician Sean Combs also put their money into the company. With this, the overall investment raised by Arc accounts for $37 million.
The influx of capital and its backers’ profiles show that the young company shows that there is a broadening interest in electrifying vehicles beyond cars and bikes.
Tesla of water boats
Arc was established in 2021 by Mitch Lee and Ryan Cook, a former SpaceX engineer to develop and sell electric boats to serve various use cases and at various price points. The company started focusing on the development and design of purpose-built battery packs. They came up with this idea after realisng that gas boat ownership is more painful than owning gas cars. They believe that electric boats can solve most issues if not all.
The team at Arc believes that boats are ideal for electric power than SUVs and sedans. They state that the biggest challenge is preventing the battery from overheating, which is possible in a boat as the vehicle is surrounded by cool water. Moreover, most marinas are wired to supply electricity to yachts and other huge marine machines. So, the regulatory hurdles are relatively fewer as compared to road-bound vehicles.
$300,000 priced Arc One
It developed its first boat called Arc One, which is an aluminum boat measuring 24 feet that can run from 3 to 5 hours on a single charge. The company plans to produce less than 25 units of the Arc One boats though the waitlist is growing. This boat has a 200kWh, 800-volt battery pack that powers the boat with a minimum of 475 horsepower. The first boat from Arc will deliver a top speed of 40 miles per hour.
The major advantage of electric boats is that they can be deployed for watersports. Priced at $300,000, the Arc boat is almost 50 percent more expensive than gas boats but it is touted to deliver a pleasurable and quiet experience.
Co-founder Lee plans to use the money generated from the sales of Arc One for its R&D that will enable them to make a more affordable version of the boat. Arc is currently testing a prototype on water and one of its employees has used it for waterskiing.
Electric boat market is growing
While the electric boat market is still in the nascent stages, there is no denying that it is growing. The pool for these vessels is getting crowded as there are a handful of companies out there trying to bring their products to the market. X Shore from Sweden has been selling electric watercraft in the US for some months and an Orlando-based rival Nautique Boat Company Inc. is also selling its products. Even General Motors dipped into this market recently and invested in Pure Watercraft that makes electric motors, as well as, batteries for boats.