WaVeS #17 electric boat and boating news

Plugboats WAVES (Watts, Amps, Volts, Electrons) is an occasional collection of electric boat news and electric boating items that we have written about before and are updating, or items we are going to write about but are waiting for more information / developments – or items that are just tidbits you might find interesting.

So without further ado, here is WAVES #17, with electric boat and boating news about:

  • DeepSpeed celebrates an anniversary and raises €7.5 million
  • Norway’s Green Waves launches a crowdfunding campaign
  • Valo hyperfoil hits their crowdfunding goal, continues campaign 
  • Taiga electric jetskis coming to South America
  • Evoy and Zeabuz team up for self-driving electric vessel
  • Yanmar’s electric saildrive 

DeepSpeed raises €7.5M, celebrates 6 year partnership

Sealence Spa SB, the parent company of Italian electric hydrojet and battery manufacturer DeepSpeed, closed a funding round of €7,556,386.25 ($8.2M, £6.5M) December 15, 2023. They also celebrated 6 years of their collaboration with the University of Padua.

It was Prof. Ernesto Benini of the Univeristy who first validated the concept of DeepSpeed founder William Gobbo when Gobbo approached him with his electric hydrojet idea. The relationship was integral to the launch of the company and has strengthened and grown since then.

Read the history of DeepSpeed in the pages of Plugboats

DeepSpeed worked with a spin-off of the University, eDriveLab, on the development of their SafeLi range of batteries and are embarking on the Uni-Compresa 2022 program for the financing of joint research projects between industrial enterprises and universities.

On the financing front, the successful funding round involved 175 investors, including institutional investors, major credit institutions, corporate and private investors. That brings overall investment to €16.5 million ($18M, £14M)in the company’s manufacturing and industrial efforts, with another €9 million ($9.8M, £7.7M) raised for research and experimental development activities.


Green Waves launching crowdfunding campaign

On March 7, Norwegian electric propulsion company Green Waves will launch a crowdfunding campaign on the Dealflow platform. The company has had a good deal of success with both their boats and motors in Norway and has also started exporting systems to other European countries.

Green Waves has already sold over 100 systems and the long term strategy is to build the lineup with powers from 20-200 kW that will be optimized for boats up to 50 feet and 20 knots. They recently launched their First Wave X electric powertrain, which is detailed on their website.

In advance of the crowdfunding campaign, the Chair of Norwegian investment company Agder Naeringsselskap commented on the future for Green Waves. “There is no doubt that the future is electric, both on land and on water” said Torunn Ostad. “We share Green Wave’s vision for a more environmentally friendly maritime sector, and we have been impressed by innovative solutions and a committed team. Our investments must have growth potential, create ripple effects in the region and sustainability must be a central element in the business. It has been exciting following the journey the company has had so far and we are proud to contribute to further growth.”

Click below to find out more  about the Green Waves Dealflow campaign and the company itself.

Green Waves Dealflow page  Green Waves website

Valo hydrofoiling crowdfunding continues

Over on the other side of the Atlantic, Califronia startup Valo also has a crowdfunding campaign underway on the Wefunder platform.

On the pitch page the company says “We are unlocking the next revolution in transportation by developing hydrofoil electric vessels that are 90% more efficient than traditional gas-powered vessels. We are doing this by leveraging our Hydrofoil Technology Platform, and entering the market in three distinct stages:

  • The Valo Hyperfoil – a cutting-edge personal watercraft sold to consumers, into a $1.5bn market segment
  • Mid-sized hydrofoil systems – sold to recreational and commercial boat builders for integration into boats 14 to 40 feet in length, with recreational boating worth a massive $42bn globally.
  • High-powered commercial hydrofoil systems – Sold to larger shipyards & enables passenger ferries and micro container ships that can transform global freight.

Valo started out designing the larger hydrofoiling systems, but pivoted to the personal watercraft Valo Hyperfoil in early 2023 and quickly sold out the production run with demand three times larger than they had anticipated.

We simply shifted from ‘big first’, to ‘fast first’,” CEO Ed Kearney told Haje Jan Kamps of TechCrunch. “We are bringing all the technology we were developing for massive container ships and ferries and using it to deliver one hell of a recreational product.

In addition to Kearney, an entrepreneur who has had two successful exits from companies and has raised $50M in VC funding, the leadership team includes Paul Bieker, formerly Principal Design Engineer on the Oracle America’s Cup teams and Reo Baird, who was co-founder and CTO of Navier hydrofoiling boats.

Aside from the crowdfunding campaign, Valo just announced a strategic partnership with Blue Orca Marine. Valo will provide ORCA, a 36m commercial workboat powered by hydrogen technology, with a large, high-power hydrofoiling system noted in their pitch.

The campaign has met its first goal of $1,872,793 (€1,727,780, £1,480, 050)) and remains open to others. Investors enter a Simple Agreement for Future Equity where their investment will convert to stock if the company raises a “priced round” from major investors later. 

Valo Wefunder page  Valo website

Taiga electric jetskis coming to South American market

Electric jetski manufacturer Taiga has announced that it is expanding its business into South America through the signing of an exclusive 3 year distribution agreement with Ventura Experience (Comfort Indústria E Comércio Ltda).

The Taiga Orca was selected as one of the Best Inventions of 2022 by TIME Magazine and was also winner of the Fast Company 2022 World Changing Ideas Award and 2022 Best of What’s New Award from Popular Science. Ventura has 40+ years of experience and 90 dealerships in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay. 

“Brazil is one of the fastest growing marine markets in South America,” said Taiga Director of Commercial Strategy and Operations Rodrigo Arrambide. “Not only does this give us access to this exciting opportunity, but it also allows us to offset North American seasonality and further secure our Orca personal watercraft line as a year-round business.”

The Orca Performance is powered by Taiga’s sixth-generation integrated motor-inverter Tractive Unit, and delivers up to 120 kW of peak power (up to 160 hp) and 170 Nm of torque, resulting in a top speed of up to 100 km/h.

In November Taiga signed an agreement with the UIM E1 World Championship to be Official Personal Watercraft Supplier for the global all-electric powerboat championship. The inaugural race took place February 2 in Jeddah and was won by the team owned by NFL legend Tom Brady 

Taiga Ventura Experience

Evoy and Zeabuz team up for self-driving electric boats

Norwegian tech leaders Zeabuz and Evoy have joined forces to push the boundaries of sustainable maritime transportation with self-driving electric boats. The first test vessel will operate in Norway’s fjords in the summer of 2024 and serve as a platform to study technical interoperability and demonstrate the practical application of self-driving electric boats to the market.

Zeabuz has developed a suite of autonomy/self-driving systems that are built on a modular architecture so they can be easily adapted to specific vessel types, applications and operations. Last year they worked with Zeam on the world’s first commercial autonomous passenger ferry, which has been operating since June in Stockholm Sweden. They also won two awards at the recent European Startup Prize (as covered in Plugboats’ WaVeS #16).

Evoy is a leader in developing of high-powered electric outboard and inboard systems that are used in both recreational boats and workboats, particularly in the aquaculture sector. They supplied the systems for two of the 2023 Gussies Electric Boat Award winners: the Axopar 25e, in the ‘Production Boats Up To 8m/26 ft’ category and the Tideman RBB 700 OB in ‘Electric Workboats’.

See all the 2023 Gussies Electric Boats Awards winners

The collaboration between Zeabuz and Evoy opens up autonomous, emission-free vessel in a range of sectors including ferries, watertaxis, workboats, and leisure boats. By optimizing operations, reducing crew size, and improving safety, the companies are looking to show how operators can reduce costs on all fronts throughout a vessel’s life cycle.

Evoy  Zeabuz

Preview of Yanmar electric saildrive

At the Miami International Boat Show I had a chance to chat with Yanmar Global Sales Manager Bas Eerden about the new electric saildrive the company announced in early February. While there was a video display of the new drives, the actual products will not be revealed until later this year. As with all Yanmar products, they are undergoing multiple tests and quality assurance checks before release to dealers and the boat-buying public.

What we do know is that the motors will be available in 10, 15 and 20 kiloWatt versions to mirror the company’s popular YM15, YM20 and YM30 diesel model.

The bolts and all  fittings have been designed to match the lower unit saildrive mechanics, meaning anyone who has one of those ICE models and wants to switch to electric can do it by simply unbolting the diesel, bolting on the electric, taking out the fuel tank and adding the battery package. We will let you know when all of the details are available.


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Axopar 25e Gussies Award Winner

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