Electric cars are becoming more affordable thanks to the long-term decline in battery prices and the significant increase in EV manufacturing worldwide. Electric boats, meanwhile, are just beginning their journey from luxury item to mainstream item.
On Wednesday, Arc Boat Company officially began selling its battery-powered cruiser, which – at $300,000 — costs approx. 50 percent more than a comparable gas-powered boat. The 24-foot Arc One has three times the battery storage capacity of a Tesla Model Y and can reach hair-whipping speeds of 40 miles per hour.
Arc, whose team includes ex-SpaceX engineers, raised $30 million in venture capital funding last year to set up its first production in Los Angeles, where the startup is based. The company began accepting pre-orders for the luxury powerboat last summer and as of this week it has been working its way up the waitlist, said Ted Herringshaw, product manager at Bow. He declined to say exactly how many boaters are waiting for their battery-powered vessels to arrive.
“We’ve found a nice niche of people who are really excited to be [early] adopters, the same way there was this opportunity for Tesla ten about years ago,” he told Canary Media.
Arc is one of a growing number of startups working to electrify day cruisers, recreational pontoon boats, fishing boats and other types of watercraft. The companies say they aim to eliminate the unpleasant noise, harmful exhaust fumes and fuel leak reflections that accompany the burning of oil in marine combustion engines.
Almost 12 million recreational boats were registered in the United States in 2020against approximately 276 million passenger cars. Boat engines contribute a relatively small amount – less than 1 percent – of the United States’ annual greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. They have a more immediate impact on the surrounding environment and community by spitting smog-forming pollutants into the air and spilling fuel.
Transport experts say that small recreational boats can be “good early candidates” to develop the zero-emission technologies needed to clean larger and longer ships. Globally, the international shipping industry accounts for nearly 3 % of total greenhouse gas emissions each year. This figure is set to skyrocket in coming decades unless container ships and tankers switch to cleaner forms of propulsion, including batteries, high-tech wind turbines and possibly even hydrogen. and ammonia.