All-Electric Hydrofoil Powerboat Racing Series to Start in 2023

The E1 series will utilize a hydrofoil design, meaning the boats will be lifted over the water, resembling hovering spacecraft.
Chris Young

We've seen electric car racing, and we're about to see electric flying cars hit the circuits. Next on the list is the first electric hydrofoil powerboat championship, the E1 series, which revealed its "Racebird" boat design this week in a press release.

The E1 series, which is already fully sanctioned by the international powerboat racing authority, the UIM, will essentially be an electrified version of the F1H20 powerboat racing series.

The E1 racing series will utilize a hydrofoil design for its boats, meaning they will be lifted some 16 in (40 cm) over the water's surface, greatly reducing drag and making them look like hovering spacecraft in the process.

All-Electric Hydrofoil Powerboat Racing Series to Start in 2023
Source: E1 Series

The Racebird powerboats, designed by Seabird Technologies and Victory Marine, feature futuristic-looking carbon bodies with enclosed cabins. They also sport wings that fold underneath to form the front hydrofoils. An extended wing tail, meanwhile, is attached to the outboard motor for the rear foil.

The Racebird is 23 ft (7 m) long and 9.8 ft (3 m) wide, including the foil wings. It will weigh approximately 1,764 lb (800 kg) and reach speeds of up to 50 knots (93 km/h, 58 mph). A prototype of the powerboat will be released later this year.

Racing powering innovation

Though the E1 race series organizers promise high-octane foil-to-foil racing with "tight and technical circuits located close to shore in the heart of urban areas," the Racebird's top speed is much lower than that of the ICE-powered F1H20, which reaches speeds of up to 155 mph (250 km/h).

However, racing championships are traditionally great platforms for innovation — in a recent statement, the founder of the recently proposed Airspeeder flying car series said his aim is to "play the same role the pioneers of Formula One did nearly a century ago."

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All-Electric Hydrofoil Powerboat Racing Series to Start in 2023
Source: E1 Series

One example already exhibited by the E1 series is that its organizers say it will leave electric vessel charging stations at every race location for public use.

The Racebird's current stats are a start at least. And if Formula E's year-on-year viewership growth of 25 percent is anything to go by, there's definitely an audience out there for all-electric racing.

The E1 series' inaugural season is scheduled to take place in early 2023, and Saudi Arabia is being considered as one of the race locations. Seabird also says it plans to release a commercial version of the Racebird in the near future. Take a look at the launch presentation for the Racebird in the video below.

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