X Shore is one of several electric boat manufacturers helping to turn the tide on fossil fuel-based boating. The Swedish company’s X Shore Eelex 8000 is already a striking example of what can be done with an electric powertrain in a sleekly designed watercraft. But new teaser images released by the company show that “something new” is coming, and it might mean the Eelex 8000 is getting a sister.
A new electric boat on the horizon?
Electric boats promise major improvements to the traditional gasoline or diesel-powered boating experience.
From quieter and cheaper operation to reduced maintenance, using an electric boat has huge upsides for the passengers and crew alike.
That’s why a number of companies are all racing to get new electric boats in the water and sailing toward customers’ docks.
But shoving all of that heavy water out of the way of a boat isn’t a very efficient way to travel, and so companies have taken differing approaches. Some are lifting their electric boats out of the water to reduce the power and battery requirements. Others are taking a direct frontal assault on the water with big motors and bigger batteries.
X Shore finds itself in the latter category, offering the Eelex 8000 with a powerful 225 kW motor (300 hp) and a massive 126 kWh battery. The company claims 100 nautical miles of range (that’s 115 miles or 185 km for the less seafaring among us), though with the disclaimer that such range comes at “lower speeds.” Zooming around at the boat’s top end of 30+ knots (35 mph or 55 km/h) isn’t going to get you nearly as far.
While the Eelex 8000 has been X Shore’s flagship vessel for years, the company has just announced that it will unveil something new on September 1.
We have frustratingly few details, but a short video (above) and three photos (below) show us a few clues that shed some light on X Shore’s plans.
While these teasers can sometimes be a pile of cleverly packaged marketing fluff, there may actually be something interesting here.
At first I thought this was just going to be some simple update on the Eelex 8000. Maybe a new canopy or some updated feature. Neat, but nothing industry reverberating. But upon looking a bit closer, I think there’s a chance we’re seeing teaser images of an entirely new boat.
The largest support for this comes from the deck image. It’s got the same signature cork decking that you see all over the Eelex 8000, but there’s something different too. That rail and lantern are a pretty decent giveaway that we’re looking at the bow of a boat, or at least the decking near the bow.
But it doesn’t seem to match the Eelex 8000’s bow at all. In the current boat, you can see they have stairs/seating with built-in storage there, and then an anchor box right at the prow. But the teaser, while fairly zoomed in, doesn’t really leave room for any of these.
The teaser image doesn’t have any odd shadows thrown by the open hawsepipe or cork gunwales for seating, making it seem like it’s on a boat with a different bow structure.
If you watch the teaser video above, you’ll see a clip of the steering wheel and throttle dial. Both seem to fairly well match those on the Eelex 8000’s console. However the Eelex 8000 also has a keypad to the right of the wheel that appears to be missing in the teaser image.
There’s also that image of what appears to be a canopy, though perhaps a smaller one that seen on the current Eelex 8000.
Then there’s the shot of the hull with the artsy finger-skimming clip from the video (screen shot below).
Check it out compared to another image of the Eelex 8000. The current boat sits fairly high out of the water with some serious freeboard, even when at rest. You could get this shot, but you’d be hanging way out over the side to idyllically drag your fingers in the water. Having someone hold your ankles might be a good idea. Could the teaser be filmed with a smaller boat that has less freeboard?
And what about the hull shape? The Eelex has a distinctive line on the hull that rises toward the bow. It’s not just a different color; the hull actually changes angle there. But the teaser image’s hull appears to be a continuous gently angled flat surface right down to somewhere below the water line.
I was in Stockholm a few weeks ago to test out Candela’s new C-8 flying electric boat (which was an incredible experience by itself — check out the video).
While I was there, I happened upon a few X Shore Eelex 8000s tied up at a dock. I snapped the picture below, where you can clearly see the hull near the bow doesn’t seem to match the boat in the teaser image and teaser video.
Could X Shore be cooking up a new electric boat, perhaps a smaller and more affordable model? It’s possible, or this could be some minor update to the existing model that I’ve gotten overly worked up about.
Ultimately, all of this is conjecture. There’s only one thing we know for sure: We won’t know anything until September 1 when X Shore fills us in on the rest.
They’ll have a livestream of whatever the news turns out to be, and you can sign up for more info on the company’s site here.
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