Finnish shipyard unveils a fully electric superyacht that produces zero emissions

Electric vehicles are increasingly becoming popular because they emit little or even zero amounts of pollution, be it toxic fumes or noise levels that hurt the ears. The increasingly large selection of electric cars and electric planes will now be joined by an electric superyacht from Finland, an article in Superyacht News stated.

A superyacht is a sailing or motor yacht that acts as the seagoing equivalent of a luxury car. These privately owned and professionally operated vessels can be propelled by sails or by motor engines.

Finnish shipyard Q-Yachts recently announced the debut of its Q30 model superyacht. The new ship is intended to serve as an affordable superyacht tender and day boat.

A tender is a vessel that supports other ships, such as bigger superyachts. A day boat, on the other hand, is any small boat that is bigger than a dinghy but lacks sleeping quarters. The latter can be small enough to be mounted on a trailer and towed by a car or truck.

What makes the Q30 impressive is its zero emission design. It runs on electricity and makes no noise during operations. Q-Yachts built it with an eye towards a simple and efficient design that hearkened back to earlier motorboats. (Related: MIT researchers are developing self-driving tricycle that’s powered by electricity and runs up to 25 miles per charge.)

A return to the good old days of quietly enjoying the water

The company’s sales director, Joakim Hilden, explained the driving force behind the new superyacht tender. Q-Yachts was founded in 2013 with one very clear objective: Restore the core values of enjoying the water aboard your very own boat, but without the noisy disruption caused by modern-day motorboats.

The standard Q30 has the electric engines and battery capacity to cruise at 10 knots per hour for up to five hours nonstop. Customers can order an extra battery pack to effectively double the endurance.

While this speed is slower than the blistering high speeds of conventional yachts, the Q30 can maintain this respectable speed for hours on end. Q-Yachts aimed for the best compromise of speed and battery life to produce a boat that will keep chugging long after others have run out of gas or charge.

“One of the things that is special about the Q30 is that we haven’t fallen into the trap of focusing on speed,” explained Hilden during an interview. “The technology available to the market doesn’t really support this yet, because then you would be stuck with a boat that could go 50 knots for eight minutes and that’s all.”

New electric superyacht keeps things simple

Hilden lamented that most yacht operators nowadays are obsessed with powerful engines and high speeds. But things used to be much simpler in the 1900s, when motorboats were young and new.

The Q30 is a throwback to those older designs. Not only does it look simple, but it is designed for ease of use and maintenance, aided by the simplicity of an electric-powered drive system.

Its electric propulsion is a low-voltage system designed by Q-Yachts’ sister company. The engine operates at low rpm and is directly connected to the drive shaft, removing the need for a complicated gearbox. As a result, the Q30 is very silent even at its top speed.

Hilden claims that Q-Yachts is in a much better position than many electric car companies. They have access to improved technologies that make the Q30’s electrical propulsion much more robust and rugged than their ground-based counterparts.

Q-Yachts is currently building three units. Two have already been bought by customers.

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