Changing the world seems a pretty big claim, but these three electric boat companies have been recognized by the Solar Impulse Foundation, an organization founded by Bertrand Piccard to promote environmental solutions. He’s the French eco-adventurepreneur who flew the Solar Impulse plane around the world on nothing but solar power and knows a thing or two about changing the world and the way we operate in it.
Electric boat companies making a difference in different ways
Other electric and solar boat companies such as the Navalt company in India (for its Aditya solar ferry) and Grove Boats (for their range of solar boats) are Solar Foundation Alliance Members, but the three companies with extra recognition from the Foundation are:
- SeaZen boat club in France, which offers license-free self-service solar boats. After training to be autonomous at sea, users have click & go access to solar boats all year round.
- City Boats Lisbon, of Portugal. Thanks to its solar panels on the roof (providing 1kW), City Boat proposes comfortable, ecological and quiet solar cruises on the river Tagus in Lisbon.
And on a larger scale which isn’t really an electric boat, but is a way of reducing diesel consumption by shipping vessels:
- Bound4Blue wingsail system (Spain), which brings aviation technology to shipping via a new foldable wingsail designed to reduce fuel consumption and pollutant emissions of maritime transport in existing and newly built vessels.
Solar Impulse Foundation recognizes best environmental solutions
After M. Piccard’s historic solar flight, he decided to start the Solar Impulse Foundation with the goal of finding and promoting 1,000 solutions to protect the environment.
The concept is that proven solutions get a ‘badge’ they can use in their promotional materials and on their products. As the Foundation says on its site:
“This label serves as a new and credible symbol that can be applied to products, processes and services and serves as a guarantee of quality to those looking to implement clean solutions, and affords a competitive edge to the innovators behind them.”
There are currently 84 products and services endorsed in the 5 the UN Sustainable Development Goals SDGs) that specifically address the environment:
- Clean water and sanitation
- Affordable and clean energy
- Industry, innovation and infrastructure
- Sustainable cities and communities
- Responsible consumption and production
Companies and innovators are encouraged to submit their solution, which are then judged by almost 1700 members of the foundation’s World Alliance for Efficient Solutions. There are 17 pages of material about submissions, standards and the judging criteria, but essentially there are three qualifying elements:
- Must be a product, process, or service
- Must have reached the maturity stage of at-scale prototype testing in a laboratory, and
- Contributes to the achievement of at least one of the five SDGs
The three boat companies that have received the recognition have earned it! Here is a video of each of the solutions and links to their respective websites.
Congratulations to all!!