X Shore, the Swedish sustainable boat firm responsible for the Eelex 8000 recently opened two new offices in the U.S. as part of its plans for expansion, following its U.S. debut at the Palm Beach International Boat Show in March.
"The Eelex 8000 can travel up to 100nm at lower speeds and can reach speeds over 30 knots. This allows our customers to enjoy being environmentally conscious, without sacrificing performance," X Shore CEO Jenny Keisu explains in an interview over email.
Since it was founded in 1996, the company has added a host of impressive technologies to its electric boat, drawing comparisons to the "Tesla of the seas". But, as Keisu tells us, the benefits of the Eelex 8000 go far beyond providing a sustainable alternative to private boats running on fossil fuels.
The 'Tesla of the seas'
Much like Tesla, X Shore is bringing a steady cadence of software updates to its boats and the firm even claims it will soon add an autodocking feature, though specifications are yet to be revealed. The technology in its Eelex 8000 is arguably comparable and, in some cases, more advanced than that of high-end electric vehicles.
The company's proprietary smartwatch and mobile app allow owners to control and monitor their vessels from afar, thanks to a connection that tracks 150 data points per second. This means that owners can view real-time analytics of battery and engine performance and easily track their vessel's location. Crucially, if anyone wearing one of those smartwatches goes overboard, the Eelex 8000 will stop within 10 seconds. According to Keisu, this "proprietary software and technology is unique compared to competitors."
The Eelex 8000 can accelerate from 0 to 20 knots in 4.2 seconds. It cruises at a speed of 20 knots and has a top speed of about 35 knots. On a single charge, it can travel 100 nautical miles while maintaining lower speeds, thanks to a 225-kilowatt electric motor and dual 60-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion batteries. One of X Shore's competitors is Swedish firm Candela, which is developing a hydrofoil speedboat capable of reaching a top speed of roughly 30 knots, with a range of 50 nautical miles.
According to Keisu, the Eelex 800 is inspired by nature and it is "designed after the South American Electric Eel for their sleek and robust build, which means all X Shore models feature an aerodynamic hull designed to reduce friction and reduce energy [requirements]."
The Eelex 8000: a boat designed for adaptability and sustainability
Besides being designed to reduce carbon emissions, the Eelex 8000 is also built using sustainable materials and is designed to reduce noise pollution on the waterways. "The boat being 100 percent electric prevents any water, air, or noise pollution," Keisu explains. "We also take it to another level, ensuring our boats are built with cork instead of teak and buyers have the option to use Flax fiber instead of fiberglass or carbon fiber. As a whole, these efforts support a cleaner environment."
The X Shore CEO also tells us that the vessel has a modular design, with 15 different layout options, allowing it to provide "luxury and function." She says it can transform from a fishing boat into a cocktail cruising boat. A built-in Sea Lab option, meanwhile, "gives users information on the environment around them, including data and parameters of the water like water PH or oxygen levels."
"Boaters can use their Eelex 8000 during the day and easily dock their boat at night to charge in 5 to 8 hours, or with a supercharger in 1 to 2 hours," Keisu says. "With this also comes the low maintenance needs of the Eelex 8000. As this is an electric boat, there is very little maintenance compared to fossil fuel engine boats. Seasonal needs, such as the process of winterizing and de-winterizing your boat, are also extremely simple. "
At a starting price of $329,000, the Eelex 8000 is more of a luxury option than a practical boating alternative — for that, look at MIT's autonomous, electric river boats. However, they do provide the benefit of lower maintenance and running costs. Regardless, an industry-wide push is necessary to reduce the boating industry's footprint, which currently accounts for roughly 3 percent of all human-made carbon emissions. Though cargo shipping is the biggest culprit, private leisure boating also needs strong competition to incentivize sustainability.