This new electric jetski is further evidence that hydrofoiling is one of the most promising technologies in electric boating.
Developed by Australian electric flight pioneers Electro.Aero working with the University of Western Australia’s Renewable Energy Vehicle Project (REV), WaveFlyer is the world’s first stabilized electric jetski using FS (fully submerged) hydrofoils.
UWA REV Director Professor Thomas Braunl said WaveFlyer built on previous work of the team that put together Australia’s first electric jet-ski in 2015.
University worked with electric aviation company
It was a perfect marriage to put together the REV group with Electro.Aero, which has developed a turnkey electric propulsion system for small aircraft. Their technology can be included in new plane designs and even more excitingly can also convert many existing in-production aircraft to electric propulsion.
Electro.Aero has started a new division, Electro.Nautic, to focus on the WaveFlyer and its WaveDrive technology. CTO and Co-founder Joshua Portlock said “We are very excited about the WaveDrive stabilised hydrofoil electric propulsion system we developed for the WaveFlyer prototype. It’s a technology that could help revolutionise the watercraft industry.”
WaveFlyer’s lithium-ion batteries carry 2 kilowatt-hours and Professor Braunl says the watercraft can operate for more than 30 minutes while carrying two riders. Perhaps not surprisingly, the development of WaveFlyer was supported in part by donations from Galaxy Resources, a global lithium company based in Australia along with electronics companies Altronics, Nvidia and X-Sens.
Plugboats has covered other developments in electric jetskis like the Batmanesque Narke and the WAV introduced by EV company Nikola at its worldwide conference in April, but neither of those incorporate hydrofoiling.
The closest thing to the WaveFlyer is the Quadrofoil, which recently received a large investment to get its product to market. It is also a hydrofoiling design but uses surface piercing – SP – foils instead of the fully submerged type.
Hydrofoiling development going on worldwide
Around the world and in all different sizes of electrically powered boats there is a growing interest in hydrofoiling. One of the issues facing electric marine propulsion is simply the amount of energy required to push a planing boat through the water.
Gustav Hasselskog is the founder of Candela Speedboat which is now delivering production models of their 7.7m / 25ft hydrofoiling pleasure boat. As he says on their website, he decided on a hydrofoil design because they “halve the friction compared to a planing boat, which is so important because 1 kg of gasoline contains ~15 times more usable energy than 1 kg of the most compact batteries”.
A quick roundup of hydrofoiling projects
While hydrofoiling certainly isn’t perfect for every electric boat situation, there are a lot of projects where it is being employed.
SeaBubbles: A hydrofoiling watertaxi
Clavis Victron’s Furia – holder of the world speed record for solar boats
FlyBus: A larger version of SeaBubbles, developed by SeaBubbles creator and hydrofoiling legend Alain Thébault
The V20 solar boat designed for as a special class of competition in Solar Sport One races
And our look at the amazing things going on in electric hydrofoiling surfboards.