Energica Motor Company, an Italian electric motorcycle maker, is working on a technological collaboration with Italian startup Sealence to produce a new boat propulsion latform called DeepSpeed. If this electric jet technology takes off, it could be revolutionary for the medium-size seagoing vessel industry.
The Energica/Sealence partnership is aimed at development and manufacturing of an electric powertrain, in the form of a solar/hydrogen/electric jet system, that would make possible long-distance water travel without a need to stop to refuel. It appears that the system will also make use of a small diesel generator to charge the battery array when a shore charge has depleted or when the boat’s photovoltaic array isn’t sufficient.
The system shown below suggests that the electric jet propulsion system can draw its power from the batteries, from stored-hydrogen fuel cell generation or from a diesel generator, allowing the boat to be both efficient and versatile. Range anxiety hits differently when your nearest port of call is hundreds of miles away. Fuel up in any way you can, but first try to use the most efficient and clean means of getting there, right?
“Energica represents excellence in electric mobility,” says William Gobbo CEO of Sealence s.r.l. “Over the years they have been able to build a business capable of competing at the highest levels, on a global scale. I know how difficult it is to launch similar entrepreneurial initiatives in Italy, but despite these difficulties it is clear that Energica is now emerging in the sector as a key point of reference. We are therefore honored by this collaboration.”
While it’s certainly not the same scale as Zero’s partnership with Polaris, it is interesting that electric motorcycle manufacturers are being tapped to provide electric mobility expertise in other powersports arenas as well. If this technology is scalable, just think of how many heavily polluting boats we can get out of the water and retrofit with a zero-emissions option.