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These innovative electric boat startups could become the ‘Teslas of water’


In many countries all over the world, motorboat cruising is a popular summer activity. However, not many people are aware of the environmental issues and the carbon footprint of motorboat cruising. Reportedly, the small leisure boats require as much fuel as a modern car would per mile, adding to the existing climate crisis. Given the rising gas, however, this summer cruising activity has become quite expensive.

Understanding the importance of resolving these challenges, the maritime players have opted for the electric route to revolutionise the industry. At a time when the auto industry is stirring to go electric, these Teslas of the sea are striving to keep the oceans free from combustion. These companies have also caught the attention of VC firms globally to fuel their growth.

X Shore
Image credits: X Shore

X Shore (Sweden)

Founder/s: Konrad Bergstrom
Founded year: 1996
Total funding: $73.7M

X Shore is a manufacturer of high-end electric crafts to revolutionise the maritime industry with the power of silence. It launched Eelex 8000, an electric boat with a 100% electric 225 kW motor and low-impact materials. With electric power, toxic fumes and disruptive noises vanish, and it produces a minimal carbon footprint during its lifetime compared to fossil fuel engines, which helps combat climate change.

Earlier this year, X Shore secured $50 million in capital in an oversubscribed funding round. New investors, including Peter Carlsson, founder, and CEO of Northvolt, along with existing owners, board members, and management participated in the round.

Image credits: Candela

Candela (Sweden)

Founder/s: Gustav Hasselskog
Founded year: 2014
Total funding: $31.1M

Yet another Swedish company transforming the electric boat industry is Candela. It is the world’s first electric hydrofoil maker. The company is looking to commercialise multiple types of boats that use hydrofoil technology, or computer-guided underwater wings. This is touted to require much less energy to propel the vessels.

Recently, the company came up with Candela C-8, its first electric boat with the range to travel between popular destinations on the Mediterranean coast and the great lakes of southern Europe. The Candela C-8 T-TOP version is made for fossil fuel-free travel in sunny climates.

Back in December 2021, Candela grabbed $27 million from investors led by EQT Ventures.

Arc Boat Company
Image credits: Arc Boats

Arc Boats (US)

Founder/s: Mitchell Lee, Ryan Cook
Founded year: 2021
Total funding: $37M

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Arc Boats is electrifying the world of boating, starting with high-performance watersport boats. While its initial focus is on the watersport boats, they also have an eye towards electrifying the watercraft industry. It blends modern aerospace design and manufacturing techniques with traditional marine craftsmanship.

By designing battery packs, powertrains, thermal control systems, and software in-house, it creates boats with a cohesive feel, optimal performance, and new features.

Late last year, the electric boat maker Arc Boats closed a $30 million Series A fundraising round led by Greg Reichow from Eclipse Ventures, who joined its board.

Image credits: Navier

Founder/s: Reo Baird, Sampriti Bhattacharyya
Founded year: 2019
Total funding: $7.2M

Founded by two MIT alumni in San Francisco, Navier is focused on building a new type of watercraft that cuts running costs by 90%. The startup unveiled its flagship electric hydrofoil – Navier 27 (N27) last year and 15 vessels planned for the first year of production sold out. Navier is in plans to ramp up its vessel output to over 400 units by 2024.

Earlier this year, the electric hydrofoil watercraft startup secured $7.2 million in seed funding to help its founders in their quest to democratise waterways.

Pure Watercraft
Image credits: Pure Watercraft

Pure Watercraft (US)

Founder/s: Andy Rebele
Founded year: 2011
Total funding: $202M

Greater Seattle-based Pure Watercraft provides battery-electric propulsion systems for boats. Its systems protect the marine environment for future generations. It makes all-electric outboard motor systems dubbed Pure Outboard, that can be used as a drop-in replacement for boats that would use a 25 to 50 horsepower gas-powered motor.

The company has also partnered with major boat manufacturers to sell complete electric boats, including a pontoon barge, a fishing boat, and two rigid inflatable boats. As per the company, its electric systems require zero maintenance compared to gas engines, in addition to eliminating fossil fuel pollution.

Last year, General Motors took ownership of a 25% stake in Pure Watercraft by investing $150 million in the company.

Image credits: Evoy

Evoy (Norway)

Founder/s: Leif Stavostrand, Gunnar Stavostrand
Founded year: $5.8M
Total funding: 2018

Evoy designs, develops and delivers a series of powerful electric outboard and inboard motor systems ranging from 120 hp to 400 hp continuous. Its propulsion systems are equipped with an electric motor, a programmable management system, marine-grade battery packs, and an advanced touchscreen control board.

Evoy’s vision is to make boating irresistible, thereby accelerating the transition to electric boats and ensuring a significant contribution to reduce global emissions. A few months back, the e-marine company announced €7.3 million for the development, research, and expand markets for their high-performance electric inboard and outboard systems.

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