Wave of the future? High-Performance Electric Boating Has Arrived at Hampton Roads

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – For boating, it’s a sea change with an eye on climate change. A durable electric boat that can go from zero to 20 knots in just over four seconds now exists and hits the water at Hampton Roads.

The main characteristics of the X Shore Eelex 8000 revolve around innovation, conservation and acceleration. 10 On Your Side recently held a demonstration along Lynnhaven Inlet and Broad Bay.

“There’s no sound, there’s no fumes, and there’s no vibration,” said X Shore’s Mike Provost. “Sustainability is a pillar of the company.”

We were cruising at 30 knots through Broad Bay, and according to Provost, that’s a lot faster than previous electric boats.

“Typical (electric) models that people are familiar with, their top end is five knots. This boat can go over 30 knots.

But speed only scratches the surface of boat characteristics.

The deck features a rail system that allows for modular placement of tables, sofas and equipment. The deck and gun rails are made of durable cork.

X Shore builds them in Sweden at a factory south of Stockholm.

“It’s built for Scandinavian waters which are notoriously choppy and cold, which frankly isn’t all that different from the Chesapeake Bay in the winter,” Provost said.

Hampton Roads will be the regional sales hub as the company attempts to establish a beachhead in the United States. Until now, the main markets have been Scandinavia and the Mediterranean.

The ideal boater is someone who cares about the environment and wants to do more maintenance on a gasoline engine.

“(With a gas-powered boat) you have fuel expenses, you have fuel filter changes, oil changes and routine hourly maintenance that you have to go through. With this boat, you have nothing of all of this,” Provost said.

But the X Shore isn’t for everyone.

“He’s a day boater. If you want to go into the canyon and do deep-sea deep-sea fishing, this isn’t really a good boat for you,” Provost said.

A full charge will last around 100 nautical miles and cost around $13 at current Dominion Power rates. It can recharge overnight anywhere there’s shore power, but much faster charging could be the next wave. X Shore works with aqua superpower set up a fast charging network within the next two years.

Aqua’s vice president of business development Scott Canning outlined the plan for a station loop that would serve Hampton Roads and the Chesapeake Bay. “In real-world use, you probably come back from a morning of browsing with 30% left, 40% left. You plug in for half an hour or 40 minutes and you have enough power in your battery to enjoy the rest of the daytime.

RJ Degrandcourt is anchored to his petrol boat, but also intrigued. “I saw it at the boat show and then it was here a few days ago and I took a look at it,” he said.

Ashley Welton and Mike Gnilka do a lot of commercial fishing for their oceanside seafood market, but like the idea of ​​running closer to shore.

“I would love to see electric boats,” Gnilka said. “I would like to see other options available to the consumer.”

With the focus on technology and durability, it’s no wonder some have called the X Shore the “Tesla of the Sea.”

“It sure looked like it. It’s a beautiful boat and we (check it out) when you’ve all arrived,” Welton said.

So far, X Shore has a base model that starts at $320,000, plus sofa options, custom colors and additional technologies. And just like the electric car market a few years ago, the electric boat market is looking for early adopters. X Shore claims that two-thirds of the recreational boating market is here in the United States.

You can follow Provost’s journey with the Eelex 8000 on Instagram at @captain_mike_vb.

About Patricia Kilgore

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