The largest name in RIBs and the largest name in electric boat motors today announced that they will be collaborating on the eOPEN range of Zodiac electric boats powered by Torqeedo.
The range will be introduce at the Cannes Yachting Festival, September 7th to 12th and more compete details will be available then, but this is what we know right now.
First off, this is exciting news for electric boats and boating. RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) boats are one of the most popular small boat hulls in the world, and they are currently powered almost exclusively by fossil fuel combustion motors.
The Zodiac Nautic Group, parent company of the Zodiac brand, won the inaugural Gussies Electric Boat Awards in 2020 in the Under 8 m / 26 ft category with their eJET 450, which was designed quite specifically as a tender for large yachts. The introduction of this eOPEN line shows that they see a future for Zodiac electric boats across a much wider range and with a much wider market of potential buyers.
“We have designed this range for today’s and tomorrow’s consumers.” says Fanny Revert-Ciavattini, Zodiac product marketing manager. “These 2 new 100% electric models meet the new needs of customers: no maintenance, no noise, no servicing, less pollution, simple and responsive driving, and an affordable price. Electric mobility is gaining ground all around us, and as the market leader in RIBs, we couldn’t afford to miss out! ”
As the global market leader in electric boat motors, Torqeedo was the obvious and ideal partner, and the companies had already worked together on the eJET, which uses a HydroJet system powered by a Torqeedo Deep Blue 50kW motor and 80i 50kWh battery.
Zodiac electric boats launched with 3.1 and 3.4 models
The eOPEN range is being launched with two sizes: the 3.1m / 10′ and the 3.4m / 11′ 6″ that will come with the appropriately sized complete Torqeedo drive system including motor, batteries and charger.
Some of the reasons people like RIBs is that they are compact, easy to store, easy to tow, easy to drive and very agile. The ride is lively and very pleasant at average speed and the Zodiac electric boats have been planned for 50 minutes of autonomy at a jaunty 12 knots / 22 kmh.
They have 4 or 6 seats – depending on the size – and two lockers, again depending on the size for stowing personal belongings but keeping them within reach. Several options are available, including EVA (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate) floor, bimini top, rear ladder, storage net, a lift kit and Fusion audio system.
“We were thrilled to partner with Zodiac on their eOPEN line of electric RIBs. It’s an iconic, yet an innovative company that has a finger on the pulse of what customers want, and when,” said Dr Michael Rummel, managing director of Torqeedo GmbH.
While there are no detailed specs yet available for the eOPEN range, presumably the hulls themselves are similar to the 3.1m and 3.4m models in the company’s existing OPEN range, and all will be revealed at Cannes. With these Nautic electric boats being introduced there, we’ll have to add Zodiac-Nautic to our list of electric boat and boating exhibitors at this year’s Festival. Welcome aboard!