Whether you have an inboard or an outboard motor on your boat, typically it runs on fossil fuels. But just as with cars, boats can be EVs, too. And that even applies to high-end luxury yachts. The newest project from Austrian company Silent-Yachts, though, approaches electric boating slightly differently. That’s because it runs with the help of Volkswagen EV tech.
This isn’t Silent-Yachts’ first solar-powered luxury yacht
Silent-Yachts’ new luxury yacht doesn’t have a name yet. However, its design is courtesy of Cupra, the performance division of Spanish brand Seat, which Volkswagen owns, Automobile explains. But while this is the Austrian luxury yacht company’s first automotive collaboration, it’s no stranger to solar panels.
That’s because all of Silent-Yachts’ ships—the Silent 55, Silent 60, and Silent 80—run on solar power, New Atlas reports. True, all of its yachts have on-board diesel generators to back up the batteries in case of emergencies. There’s also an optional towing kite sail available for each model.
However, even the smallest one, the Silent 55, has enough capacity to handle 100 miles per day on a charge, New Atlas reports. Plus, Silent-Yachts claims its now-discontinued Silent 64 was the first fully-solar-powered yacht to cross the Atlantic Ocean. And the generators aren’t needed to run the luxury yacht’s climate control or cooking equipment.
Besides fulfilling the ‘silent’ part of Silent-Yachts’ name, solar power has similar advantages on luxury yachts as it does on camper vans. The panels require less maintenance and are more cost-effective to run in the long-term. And, of course, there’s the lack of emissions.
How does a luxury yacht use Volkswagen EV technology?
The Volkswagen connection in Silent-Yachts’ new catamaran doesn’t stop at having Cupra design it. Volkswagen is also lending its EV technology to the new luxury yacht, Barchea Motore reports. Specifically, its modular MEB platform, The Driven explains.
The MEB platform is what underpins the upcoming Volkswagen ID.4 EV as well as the ID.Buggy concept, Automobile reports. And as of 2019, VW made it available to third-party developers. That’s why Silent-Yachts can use it in this new ship.
But there’s another good reason for putting it in a luxury yacht. A solar-powered catamaran needs battery packs for energy storage and electric motors for propulsion. The MEB platform includes both. And while initially it only had one electric motor, Automobile reports, Volkswagen has since incorporated a second one. That makes it match with Silent-Yachts’ other ships, which also have two electric motors.
Pricing and availability
As of this writing, Silent-Yachts has not released official pricing for this new ship. Nor has the Austrian firm confirmed a release date.
However, it’s safe to assume this Cupra-designed catamaran won’t come cheap. The Silent 55, 60, and 80 are all modular, available in multiple configurations, Power&MotorYacht reports. And they all come with carbon-fiber-reinforced hulls, multiple staterooms, and the comforts of home. But even the cheapest Silent 55 starts at roughly $2.39 million.
The good news is, you’ll be able to say that your $39,995 Volkswagen ID.4 lent its technology to a multi-million-dollar luxury yacht.
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