New Volkswagen Silent-Yachts solar electric catamaran in the works
This could be exciting. Leaders from EVs and e-boats teaming up in a Volkswagen Silent-Yachts collaboration that also involves Cupra, the high-performance car designer owned by VW Group.
Silent-Yachts is on a roll lately, with new boatyards in Thailand and Italy and 31 of their solar electric catamarans under construction for delivery to clients in 2020-21. This new development takes Silent-Yachts and the electric boating world to the next stage, where the advances in electric vehicle technology are melded with those in electric boating.
Silent-Yachts founder Michael Köhler is a visionary who has been working on emission-free solar powered yachts since 2005 and sees nothing but good things for the future.
“I’m happy to cooperate with our partners on this exciting new project,” he said. “Volkswagen Group is one of the most advanced players on the electric cars market and I am sure that together we can make something really special on the water.”
Volkswagen Silent-Yachts boats to use modular system
Not many details have been revealed, but the general model seems to be that the yachts will connect Silent-Yachts solar panels with components from Volkswagen’s modular electric drive matrix (MEB) platform. With VW having recently invested at least $US300M in battery company QuantumScape, there is also the possibility that those solid state batteries could be part of the system.
The concept of using a car company’s batteries in a boat is not unknown, of course. Torqeedo has been working with BMW and their 13 battery since 2017. And many electric motor DIYers opt for the economics of ‘second life’ Tesla battery modules for their outboards – they are even used as the energy storage system for this tourist ferry in Sweden. The MAB modular concept for the Volkswagen Silent-Yachts cats is new, though.
When Volkswagen originally announced the MEB platform as a total optimization of delivering power for EVS, they said it
“leads to fundamental changes in body design, interior design, the package and the powertrain characteristics of electric Volkswagens.“
That could be the reason that Cupra is involved in the design. The artist’s conception for the new yachts (image above) display the car company’s logo. Obviously the designing of a boat is different from the designing of a car, but it could be that Cupra’s experience with fitting the MEB and battery into land vehicles with wheels is important knowledge to have when fitting it into water vehicles with propellers.
These three companies are all top of class in what they do, so it will be interesting to see how they work together to further zero emission e-mobility. Silent-Yachts is already known for making a solar powered boat that can cross the Atlantic with no fossil fuels. Who knows what could be in store in the future?