Navalt launches India’s fastest solar electric boat: Barracuda

Two time Gussies Award Winner Navalt of India has launched the fastest solar electric boat in the country – the Barracuda, with a top speed of 12 knots (22 km/h, 14 mph). 

The vessel, launched at the Navgathi Yard, Panavally in Alappuzha, was built in collaboration with Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd. It will be named Saur Shakthi (‘solar powered in Punjab) and will be used as a workboat.

Winner of the first Gussies Awards in 2020

“We wish to celebrate this remarkable feat in sustainable transportation, presenting it as our heartfelt contribution to our nation’s journey towards a cleaner, greener future on the seas,” said Sandith Thandassery, CEO of Navalt.

Sandith Thandasherry in his office at Navalt with scale models of some of the Navalt boats

 

 

Thandasherry was named Innovator of the Year at the 2023 TiE Kerala awards for entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders in the Indian state, and is also the author of ‘Solar Electric Boats: Plan, Build and Benefit, which can be purchased on Amazon [paid link]. 

He founded Navalt as India’s only indigenous electric propulsion system builder. One of the first boats developed by the company, the Aditya, has been in operation as a commuter ferry in Kerala, India, since 2017.

Aditya makes 22 trips each day, and has carried almost 3.4 million passengers since its launch, saving about 175,000 litres of diesel fuel and almost a million pounds (435,000 kilograms) of CO2 emissions. 

Thirty electric boat models

Those are among the many reasons the Aditya was one of the winners of the inaugural Gustave Trouvé electric boat awards in 2020. The company’s Avalon design won the Gussies in 2022 for Electric Workboats, and Navalt won the award for the world’s best start-up in the mobility and transportation category at the Berlin Start-up Energy Transition Awards 2023.

Navalt Guerencia electric boat
The sleek Guerencia 14.5m electric yacht by Navalt

Navalt now offers 30 different electric and solar electric boats, everything from the 120 passenger ferry Vego to electric yachts to fishing boats to the 5.5m / 18 ft Dialga leisure craft.

The Barracuda is designed to be a fast but rugged electric work horse, engineered to carry 12 passengers and cargo through waves up to 4 metres (13 ft). It has two 50 kiloWatt motors (≈70 hp each) and a battery that stores 88 kiloWatt hours of electricity – a fairly common size in electric cars. At a cruising speed of 4-5 knots the range is about 50 km,  7 hours. The Barracuda is charged from shore power, augmented by a 6 kiloWatt peak solar panel array on the roof.

Mazagon Dock manufactures warships and submarines for the Indian Navy and offshore platforms and associated support vessels for offshore oil drilling. It also builds tankers, cargo bulk carriers, passenger ships and ferries. The company plans to use Saur Shakthi for general workboat needs at its massive Mumbai facility.

Barracuda by Navalt Solar Electric Boats

LOA 14m / 46 ft
Beam 4.4m / 14 ft 5 in
Motors 2 X 50 kW (≈2 X 70 hp)
Battery Storage 88 kWh
Solar panel generation 5 kWp
Range (cruising speed) 50 km / 27 nm / 31 mi
Top Speed 12 knots / 22 kmh / 14 mph

Navalt – website Navalt in Plugboats

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