New Lithium Sulfur electric boat by Yachts de Luxe, Jean Jacque Coste

The lithium sulfur electric boat powered by OXIS Energy cells comes on the heels of successful electric airplane flight.

High energy density in batteries (or lower battery weight, however you like to think of it) is critical for both electric aircraft and electric boats, and OXYS Energy‘s lithium sulfur (Li-S) battery chemistry is a leading technology. It was almost exactly a year ago when we wrote about it in the article Are ultra light batteries in electric boating’s future?

OXIS Lithium sulfur batteries powered electric airplane

A few months ago, in August, OXIS successfully powered the first ever US built electric aircraft with a flight time of just under two hours, approved by both NASA and the Federal Aviation Authority.

Now, Yachts de Luxe (YdL) of Singapore has placed a commercial ten year worldwide contract with the UK company to build the world’s first ever luxury boat to be powered by Lithium Sulfur battery cells.

OXIS will work with YdL and renowned Naval Architect and multi hull designer Jean Jacques Coste to realize a new 40 foot luxury day boat. It will carry a 400kWh battery system of Ultra Light, High-Power cells and battery mangement system (BMS). The objective is to achieve a range between 70 and 100 nautical miles at cruising speed.

Williams Formula E award winners part of team

Williams Advanced Engineering will be working on the design and manufacture of the cell modules (the battery ‘packs’ – cells are the individual battery units), the BMS and installation of the system. Williams, also based in the UK, won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation in 2018 for designing, developing and delivering the batteries for all the cars racing in the FIA Formula E electric car championship.

Huw Hampson-Jones, CEO, OXIS Energy, said, “This collaboration is a great example of how entrepreneurial companies are able to utilize their expertise and move swiftly to deploy new state of the art technology, which brings with it a paradigm shift in maritime transportation”.

The lithium sulfur batteries developed by OXIS Energy have a power density (technically called a ‘high gravimetric energy density’) of 500 watt hours per kilogram. That means more power can be packed into a lighter battery. Li-S batteries have been around since the 1960s, but the OXIS ‘magic sauce’ is that they have overcome cycle life and safety drawbacks. The battery cells come in a pouch format, and Oxis has put them through puncture and bullet tests that prove their safety.

YdL Director Jean Jacques said “With the Li-S technology developed by OXIS Energy, we have the perfect match between high power, safety and eco friendliness. This is the starting point of numerous projects including service boats and our Mega Yachts. YdL is pleased to be a key partner of the OXIS entry into the marine electric propulsion market.”

One of the advantages of the OXIS Li-S technology is that it does not use any toxic or rare earth material, which is especially important with large batteries for large boats. And at the end of life, the materials used in the Li-S cells can be disposed of without damaging the environment.

Designers now have lithium sulfur electric boat option

That’s not to say that other battery chemistries like lithium-ion and lithium iron are not equally viable for electric boats. Silent Yachts has been building 60 foot electric catamarans for a few years and when it comes to end of battery life, this Swedish sightseeing launch and Seine River cruise boat are good examples of boats re-using batteries from cars.

There are lots of solutions. The battery chemistry that designers and manufacturer opt for is largely determined by the boat or ship’s intended use. It is great now to see another safe, high energy density battery option available as the electric boating world keeps moving forward.

The completed luxury lithium sulfur electric boat from Ydl will be on display at the Monaco Yacht Show in September 2021.

Exciting things are happening every day in electric boats and boating.
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MAIN IMAGE: Galaxy of Happiness designed by Jean Jacques Coste for Latitude Yachts

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