Marine electric propulsion is far from being a new trend. As stated on Lanéva Boats’ website, hybrid and electric boats have existed for over 100 years. “The first electric boat was developed by the German inventor Moritz von Jacobi in 1838 and was presented to the Emperor Nicholas I of Russia on the Neva River,” begins Francois Richard, CEO (chief exploration officer) at Lanéva Boats. “The 24ft (7.3m) boat had a passenger capacity of 14 and a speed of three miles per hour (4.8km/h).”
From the 1920s, gasoline or diesel-powered outboards overtook electric. However, with increasing rules and regulations to promote sustainable behaviour at sea, mindsets are shifting and solutions such as electric propulsion are being rediscovered – and they are better than ever.
There is a myth that the performance of an electric boat being used as, for example, a superyacht tender when compared to a diesel tender outweighs the ‘green’ benefits of the e-tender. Lanéva is keen to dismiss this myth and does not believe it is a valid point of comparison when considering the purpose of a tender or day boat.
“The 7.9m Lanéva boat can reach a top speed of 30 knots (55km/h, 34.5mph), as well as a range of approximately 40nm at a speed of 20 knots (42.5km/h, 23mph). Those are high-performance characteristics for a day boat,” emphasises François.
Lanéva Boats does not stop at sustainable propulsion and seeks to ensure the entire boat is as green on the outside as it is within. “We source the best worldwide parts in accordance with our exceptional nature and technology triptych,” clarifies François, whose team checks and cross-checks all of its partners and suppliers.
In terms of its appeal to the luxury market, Lanéva Boats has seen great interest from some of the most forward-thinking parts of the planet. “We see a lot of interest from lake regions such as Switzerland, Italy and Germany, and these are places where people are already driving electric cars such as Tesla or Porsche,” explains François.
“There’s a culture in these parts of the world of people wanting a smaller carbon footprint, to sustain the fragile ecosystem of their lakes etc. We also receive requests from luxury resorts situated on lakes that want to extend their CSR policy onto the water, made possible through our luxurious, silent mode of water travel.”
Within the superyacht industry, Lanéva Boats has started to see a growing interest and growing audience in Monaco. “We were also hoping to release the new version of our day boat at MYS 2020, to show our reliable, exceptional day boat. Now we can’t wait to be in 2021 and for the next real yachting season to begin,” François comments.
With a top speed of 30 knots – ample for a day boat, a charging time of three hours to reach full battery – and increasing numbers of harbours being equipped with charging stations (or superchargers), it is now a case of who wants to come forward and be seen as an innovator and an early adopter of this technology.
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