Electric motor and boat manufacturer Vision Marine Technologies launched its 1,050 nautical mile ‘AMPED-UP Challenge’ on Sunday, July 23, with a crew of three guiding a solar panelled electric pontoon from Norfolk Virginia to Miami Florida with the goal of arriving at Lighthouse Point, Miami, on Wednesday, August 9.
The boat making this inspiring journey is a ZENITH 23′ electric pontoon by Wired with twin electric motors and lithium-ion batteries augmented by a 12 panel roof-top solar array with generating capability of 3,000 watts peak.
Follow the journey on Vision Marine website
The planned route is set out on the AMPED-Up Challenge page of the Vision Marine Technologies website, which is also being updated with each day’s progress. You can also check the progress on the Google Map at the bottom of this page.
In conjunction with the Challenge, Vision Marine announced that they are collaborating with 4ocean, which is dedicated to ending the ocean plastic crisis and works with corporations on removing plastic from our waters. As of this writing, they have recovered 30,725,888 pounds of trash from the world’s oceans, rivers, and coastlines.
The crew on the AMPED-UP Challenge is Captain François Légaré and Navigator Sylvie Latendresse, two passionate boating enthusiasts who have sailed from the inland waters of Lake Champlain to the Bahamian islands of Exumas, Eleuthera, and the Abacos.
Their journey – which took them along the Hudson River to New York City, then by sea to Chesapeake Bay before taking the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway to Florida – was a valuable experience which stands them in good stead for the Norfolk to Miami trip. As well as being avid sailors, they are also keenly interested in nautical electrification.
4ocean Certified Cleanup Partner
Accompanying them on the trip is Vision Marine’s Brand & Communication Director Vincent Prévost, who will be documenting the event and posting updates on the company’s social media: facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
The goal of the journey is to bring attention to the capabilities of electric propulsion and to help showcase 4ocean’s mission and operations.
Alex Schulze, co-founder and CEO of 4ocean, expressed his admiration for Vision Marine’s pioneering approach, stating, “It takes true leadership and dedication to ignite change on a global scale. We are thrilled to have Vision Marine as a Certified Cleanup Partner, demonstrating their passion for the oceans and inspiring others in the industry to follow suit. Together, we are charting a course towards a cleaner and healthier marine ecosystem.”
‘Driving positive change for the planet’
Alex Mongeon, co-founder and CEO of Vision Marine, said “Our partnership with 4ocean exemplifies our commitment to environmental preservation and signifies a new era of collaboration, where companies unite to tackle the critical issue of ocean pollution. We are proud to set a precedent for the boating industry and showcase how businesses can drive positive change for the planet.”
Vision Marine has been building electric boats since 1995 and in 2020 introduced the E-Motion 180E Electric Powertrain which can provide a consistent 180 HP (≈135 kw) of power. The system has been chosen by Four Winns for their first electric model – the H2e.
At last year’s Lake of the Ozarks Shootout a Hellkats Powerboat catamaran with twin 180Es made history as the first electric boat to achieve 100 miles per hour, setting a new world speed record for electric boats of 104 mph (167 km/h).
The AMPED-UP Challenge is another significant achievement, but at the other end of the speed/range spectrum. The company says the journey is not just about breaking barriers; it’s about inspiring a new era of eco-friendly boating practices. “We believe that the power of innovation and sustainability can transform the boating industry for the better. With every nautical mile we sail, we aim to lead the way towards a greener, cleaner future for marine enthusiasts worldwide.”