Swedish electric boat manufacturer X Shore has unveiled their latest model – the X Shore PRO – their first aimed at the workboat and other small commercial operators who are important ‘early adopters’ in the fast-growing world of electric boats.
The company launched its first electric boat, the 8 metre /26 ft Eelex 8000, at the Dusseldorf Boat Show (Boot Dusseldorf) in January of 2019.
They followed it up with the smaller X Shore 1 (6.5m / 21 ft) in September of 2022. The X Shore 1 was designed from the outset to take advantage of the company’s new 15,000 square meter (160,000 square feet) facility to offer consumers a more affordable electric boat option. Its assembly-line allows X Shore to combine cost efficiency with the ability to incorporate the most sustainable materials and manufacturing processes.
This third X Shore model capitalizes on the interest in electric boats being shown worldwide by commercial operators who use boats for working in marinas and ports, as dive boats, coast guard duties, water taxi / passenger shuttles and more.
Electric makes good commercial sense
The reason for their interest is simple – economics.
Electric boats have a higher initial price because you are basically paying for the fuel upfront with the cost of the battery, but there is tremendous cost saving every time the boat is charged up with electrons instead of filling up with fossil fuel. Commercial operators who are constantly dishing out money for gas/petrol or diesel recover the initial cost of the battery quickly.
In fact the more they use the boat the more economical it becomes. When that battery is ‘paid off’, the electric refuelling costs is next to nothing compared with what they were previously paying. Couple that with the fact that electric motors have minimal maintenance costs and an electric boat is a win-win situation for a commercial operator.
X Shore PRO to be used for school transport
Another advantage is the consistency of usage. Similar to the on-land EV market, recreational boat owners worry (mostly unnecessarily) about the range of an e-boat and how/where it can be charged.
Commercial operators, especially those in the business of commercial traffic and shuttle services, know how much energy is required for each route and workboat operators don’t get into range issue because they decide that “it’s such a beautiful day, why don’t we stay out for another hour.”
On the charging side, the operators can install their own facilities, perfectly matched to the needs of the boat’s use case.
One of the first sold X Shore PRO vessels will be used for school transportation in the Swedish archipelago. The PRO has also been designed for an array of maritime professions, including diving, coast guards and other applications.
The PRO is built on X Shore’s 8 metre platform with two basic configurations – Open and Cabin – with each boat customized and built to the customer’s requirements at the X Shore Industries 1 plant in Nyköping, Sweden. Like the two X Shore recreational models, the PRO incorporates smart technology that is even more attractive to commercial operators, things like restricted access, geofencing and over the air system monitoring and updates.
Accelerate institutional transition to net-zero
X Shore is led by CEO Jenny Keisu, who moved over to the company from Summa Equity, a private equity firm she co-founded that invests in companies in line with the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals.
Speaking about the role of the X Shore PRO in the growing electric boat market, she says “The boating and shipping industries must be decarbonised and central to this mission is bringing to market viable and scalable alternatives to fossil fuel-powered vessels.
She also says we can’t expect regular citizens to single handedly drive the major net zero transition we need to mitigate climate change. “This change must be driven by powerful figures such as companies, cities, and politicians. In launching the PRO, X Shore is providing a valuable tool to reach sustainability targets.”
Local e-boat initiatives growing
The X Shore PRO has been designed to accelerate institutional transition to net-zero and capitalizes on a number of local and regional initiatives around the world introduced as part of climate-minded policy:
- Michigan: in April, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the Fresh Coast Maritime Challenge, which provides commercial enterprises a sustainable and cost-effective way to transition to electric-powered vessels.
- Norway: has adopted a resolution to halt emissions from cruise ships and ferries in the Norwegian World Heritage-recognised fjords no later than 2026.
- Amsterdam: is enacting a ban on commercial boats with diesel engines operating on the city’s canals by 2025
- Venice: electric boats are exempt from a new law introduced to help restrict air pollution and boat traffic on its crowded canals.
- Spain: the Parliament of the Balearics has proposed a ban on the rental of non-electric yachts in Mallorca and its surrounding islands by 2030
- California: the California Air Resource Board has introduced incentive funding opportunities for commercial harbour craft operators to purchase zero emission boats
Keisu says “The Eelex 8000 showed that electric vessels can be beautiful and high performance, the X Shore 1 makes electric boating available at a lower price point and the X Shore PRO shows that electric boats can serve industry and deliver change at-scale and reach the lives of more people.”