At its core, the most basic essential feature of any vehicle is that it enables freedom. Freedom to travel further than your own two legs allow. And it’s difficult to imagine something that could potentially enable more freedom than a boat with a virtually unlimited range and that doesn’t require refueling.
That’s exactly what two companies partnered to do and they now have a working prototype and several units in production.
Electrek talked with Imecar founder Mark Lander who described the powertrain of the boat as equipped with 2 60 kW electric motors, a 80 kWh battery pack and a 15 kW solar array.
Lander said that at a cruising speed of 5 knots, the Solarwave has virtually an unlimited range and can travel day and night thanks to the large battery pack. He added that the current battery pack in the first boat they made is powered by Kokam lithium polymer pouch cells, but the next boats will be powered by Samsung’s latest cells.
Here’s the first Solarwave:
Lander said that they are already working on the second unit, which they aim to be in the water by February 2017, and Solarwave AG is already working on the body of the third unit.
As you would imagine, it’s not cheap. Catamarans of that size (Solarwave is available in 54, 64 and 74 feet) are quite expensive already and outfitting them with a Tesla-size battery pack and a solar array is not helping the price. Lander says that the base version is starting at 2.5 million euro.
But for that price you get a full carbon fiber body, 4 large VIP-cabins with en-suite head and separate shower, and the freedom to cruise in a both powered by sunlight. Despite the price, Lander says that they already have a backlog of 9 orders.
Again, Imecar’s electric powertrain virtually offers unlimited range at a cruising speed of 5 knots, but Solarwave also offers an additional Diesel engine in case you want to take the boat on a trans-Atlantic trip since the electric powertrain’s top speed is 15 knots.
More pictures of the interior of the solar catamaran: