Villa d’Este, the iconic 5-star luxury hotel, hosted its second annual Lake Como electric boat day – Villa d’Este Style Electric Yachting – as part of its 150th anniversary celebration season.
The event was organized by Villa d’Este in collaboration with the Alessandro Volta Foundation and the Cantieri (Shipyard) Ernesto Riva, with BMW Italy as sponsor. In addition to showing off the style and performance of the participating boats, the resort assembled a conference of electricity authorities, local and national policy makers and boating industry leaders to discuss the future of electric boating and e-mobility in general.
Electric runabout, fishing boat, classic Vaporina water limousine
Daniele Riva of the Cantieri Ernesto Riva brought 4 boats from his ER Innovation division, including the Ernesto e-Commuter, winner of the 2021 Gustave Trouvé Electric Boat Awards in the Under 8 metre category.
Other boats from the shipyard included the E-next Ernestino runabout, the Lucia, a traditional Italian Lake district fishing boat refitted with an electric motor, and a classic water limousine, the Vaporina Elettre, which was electrified in 2019.
In addition to boats from the Cantieri Riva, which is situated right on Lake Como, Villa d’Este also invited other noted boat builders from around Europe to show off their creations.
The Candela C-8 electric hydrofoiling speedboat came in from Sweden, the Magonis e-Wave 550 from Spain and the Vita Seal was brought up from her home in Monaco.
Also from Monaco were two boats from the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge (MEBC), the racing event and conference the Monaco Yacht Club has hosted for the last 9 years which brings together university teams from around the world with commercial electric boat innovators.
In the Energy Class of the MEBC, the event supplies identical pre-built catamaran hulls to the students, who then develop their own non-fossil fuel propulsion solutions. Fourteen Universities from as far away as Indonesia competed in the Energy Class this year.
The Politecnico di Milano team, which finished in top spot and the team from University of Bologna, which took third place, brought their entries to Lake Como to demonstrate the electric-hydrogen-battery-solar systems they designed.
Lake Como electric boat conference
Pierluigi Coppola of Politecnico di Milano spoke at the accompanying e-mobility conference at the Villa to look at scenarios of the energy transition in the world of public transport. Bernard D’Alessandri, General Secretary of the Yacht Club de Monaco, and one of the founders of the MEBC, stressed the role and importance of developing electricity-based propulsion in helping protect fresh waters, our seas and our oceans.
The Mayor of Como, Alessandro Rapinese reiterated the region’s support for building public infrastructure like fast charging stations at piers. Paolo Mazzucchelli, Lakes Navigation Technical Director, outlined plans for reducing emissions and developing public electric mobility in the 3 main lakes of Italy – Como, Maggiori and Garda.
The Alessandro Volta Foundation, named after the inventor of the battery, was created to promote university, higher education and culture. It is one of the organizers of the Lake Como event.
Speaking at the conference, Foundation President Luca Levrini said “Sustainable mobility has become a social right to preserve the beauty of our lake, and that is why we must commit ourselves not only to the development of new, exciting boats like we see today, but also to the growth of a culture that creates an awareness of the benefits and advantages of electricity“.
“We are very proud of the positive feedback.” said Giuseppe Fontana, President of the Villa d’Este Group. “This event pushes us to take concrete actions to make sustainability an achievable goal”.
Marco Makaus, Project Manager of the Villa d’Este Style initiatives, added: “This edition was the promise and premise for the future: the cultural and scientific aspect blends perfectly with the practical test of new products, examples that represent the best of electric boating, and they give us a strong incentive to make the 2023 edition even more important ”.