When two local businessmen donated a charging station to the public docks in the town of Cazaggo on Lake Varese, they had Italy’s first electric watertaxi – RepowerE – come over from Lake Garda to show off the new service.
Giovanni Parise’s company manufacturers electric motors just outside Cazaggo and Antonio Petrelli’s makes charging stations. Their gift was the perfect way to help stimulate electric boat use on Varese, and the RepowerE a great way to demonstrate the ease of use and power capabilities of the 220V 16Ah station, which can charge two boats at once.
The RepowerE is operated by Bertoldi Boats, a family owned service in the town of Sirmione that has operated boat tours and excursions around Lake Garda since 1891.
RepowerE is the second electric boat for Bertoldi
To say the RepowerE is only a water taxi would not do it full justice. It has an electrically operated roof, Bose stereo system, fridge, sink, leather interior and teak decking. It can take up to 14 passengers for visits to the villages and towns on the lake or for sunset and event cruises. It has two motors, one 11kW and one with 20kW available.
The boat was designed as part of the Homo Mobilis initiative from Swiss energy company Repower. It made its debut at the Genoa Boat Show in September 2018 and Bertoldi was a natural fit for the boat’s deployment, having launched ‘Become’ in 2016 – a 10m / 32ft open deck tour boat that can attain a speed of 15kn / 27kmh / 17mph with its two 25kW motors.
Just as with electric cars, charging stations are the next link in the chain of making e-boating as easy and accessible as possible. These stations in Italy’s lake district fall in line with the unveiling of the Vita superPower fast charging station at the Yacht Club de Monaco in May. It is the first of a network of superPower chargers that will be built along the Mediterranean coast.