Battery-powered Pleasure Craft by ex-Tesla Executive

Johnny Wentzel
Courtesy of Tampa Bay Times

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of your soul leaving your body as you crest a wave at top speed in an inner-tube behind your uncle’s speedboat. As electric vehicles gain in popularity, it could be electric boats that create those panicked core memories for future generations.

What happened: Blue Innovations Group, a company lead by an ex-Tesla top executive, recently announced the R30 pleasure craft – a new entrant into the limited world of battery-powered boats.

The Tesla-esque 30-foot vessel, which will set sale in Q2 of next year, touts a leg-up on the competition both in range (150 nautical miles, or 172 “normal people” miles) and battery life (8 hours).

  • Electric boats of the same class that are currently available can have as little as 70 minutes (minutes!) of battery life, suggesting the transition to EVs on the water is much lower priority than on land.

Impact: Ocean vessels account for about 3 percent of global emissions, with the vast majority coming from commercial vessels like tankers and cruise ships.

Overall, it’s difficult to quantify the impact specifically from privately-owned pleasure craft on a global scale. Instead, studies have looked at specific regions that could benefit from electric boats, such as vacation areas in the Mediterranean, where the shallow waters contain ecosystems that are more sensitive to emissions and water pollution.

Zoom out: Even with an advantage over existing electric boats, the limited range coupled with the $300,000 of the price tag of the R30 might be enough to prompt environmentally conscious seafarers to stick with sailing. But for high-density vacation spots and ecologically sensitive areas, electric boats might be just what Mother Nature ordered.