This 100% electric and solar boat developed by a former Tesla employee

He simply wants to revolutionize the field of navigation. John Vo, a Tesla alum, pitched his grand ambitions for the R30, an electric and solar-powered speedboat, to our Electrek capabilities.

800 horsepower, 8 hours of battery life

After working from 2011 to 2017 as head of global manufacturing for Tesla, John Vo founded his company Blue Innovations Group (BIG) with the goal of one day producing a 100% electric boat capable of recharging in the sun. The prototype is now ready and will be presented next January at the CES show in Las Vegas.

The R30 developed by BIG sports a simple and refined design. Marketed from $300,000, the boat will tackle the global luxury market. A price that could drop over the years, when production will be large enough to reduce manufacturing costs. About ten meters long, the boat is capable of reaching 72 km/h (45 mph). It is powered by an 800 hp twin-engine unit.

In terms of autonomy, the boat should in theory ensure around 8 hours of navigation. The R30 uses a liquid-cooled 221 kWh lithium-iron-phosphate battery rather than a more conventional lithium-ion accumulator, in order to maximize its lifespan. “It is therefore a somewhat larger battery with a slightly lower energy density. I got the space — it’s a boat“, details John Vo to our colleagues.

The entire structure will be made of aluminum, a choice that complicates the tooling of the vehicle, but which allows BIG to offer a lifetime warranty on the hull.

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Solar panels

For the comfort of navigation and the entertainment of passengers, the R30 incorporates two screens in the cabin of the aircraft. A design reminiscent of the sober and filtered interior of a Tesla. In order to improve the autonomy of the boat, the roof of the cockpit will be lined with extendable solar panels. This technology could make it possible to recharge up to 2.7 kW of peak energy.

A recharging capacity that could make this boat a real autonomous vehicle if it is not used every day (in pleasure). A cable will however need to recharge the battery in the ports. The charging speed is, however, not specified.

First delivery in 2024

In his quest, John Vo hopes to attract many investors in order to begin the transition of the domain. “Ten years ago, starting an electric car company made sense. But now it’s established. Electric boats, on the other hand, are a no-brainer. I want to bring a revolution in this sector“, explains the man, who intends to produce his vehicle”by thousands“For'”have a real impact on the environment.

To achieve its ambitions, BIG expects the development of an alpha test model by February 2023, followed by four beta models before October. A calendar which should lead to marketing in the second quarter of 2024. Reservations are already open.

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