Electricity and water don’t mix – well, they mix very wellwhich can be problematic for people. So the idea of an electric boat may seem risky. A new California startup called Arc is trying to ruin that notion by starting a limited edition of a 24-foot water sports boat that costs about $ 300,000.
That’s an incredible amount of money. But Arc, which is leaving stealth mode today, offers a handful of SpaceX aliens, backed by Silicon Valley power plant company Andreessen Horowitz – plans to work its way down from this price point when it produces and sells boats, just as Tesla once made the Roadster for electric cars, followed by the S and X and then models 3 and Y.
Electric boats have far fewer moving parts, which means that should strike a blow at maintenance costs, which is one of the biggest headaches of owning a boat. In addition, electricity can be much cheaper than marina fuel prices, and charging a boat at home makes a lot more sense than doing it in a car. While Arc’s first boat may not achieve full parity with a gas-powered boat, it is a goal, and Arc CEO Mitch Lee believes it is easily achievable.
“We’re starting the market, moving down as fast as we can – we use their playbook almost verbatim,” Lee says Limit in an interview. In other words, the limited sales of the $ 300,000 Arc One boat will help fund the product development needed to produce a more affordable version of the Arc that could sell in the thousands, Lee says.
Running a Tesla playbook while trying to break up the world of boating with electronic propulsion technology makes it easier for Arc to collar with the “Tesla for Boats” moniker. Arc would be neither the first nor the last, but Lee says he would rather leave the decision to the media and the public.
“A brand person, why do I hesitate to see everyone calling themselves ‘Tesla for boats.’ It’s like everyone strives for it,” he says. “What matters is how well you perform in that game book.”
Arc’s first boat is simple, but a miracle – at least on paper. (Lee says Arc already has one prototype.) The boat has a 200kWh, 800-volt battery – about twice the capacity of Tesla’s current high-end packaging and a voltage and electric motor with at least 475 horsepower, Lee says. Its top speed is about 40 miles per hour and it takes a total of about four hours, which Lee says covers the day on the boat.
Even better, Lee says, the boat throws an alarm behind it, which means it’s fun to use for activities like water skiing. This is rare in the emerging electric boat market, Lee says, because the passage of water takes a lot of energy, so other companies have sought to reduce the forces that cause the revival. Some use a hydrofoil to reduce resistance and eliminate priming altogether.
This is a big reason why a battery is so energy efficient. “As you move through the water, the power consumption is cubic meters for your speed,” Lee says. “If you want a boat that can travel 40 miles per hour, you need a very large battery to be able to handle it.” All of this extra energy from the faucet helps the boat “fly” even at higher speeds, making it essentially glide over water, reducing drag.
“The boats are actually really good floating – it sounds silly, but it’s not hard to make a boat that could carry a huge load,” Lee says. “The hard part is if you want to fly or want to move fast. [That creates] this exponential power take-off because you are moving into something much more viscous than air. “
Another key part of Arc’s design is that it builds aluminum frames. Just as Ford took aluminum into its pickup trucks half a decade ago, Arc is robbing the deal here. Most boat hulls in this class are made of carbon fiber or other composite material. Lee says aluminum is less labor-intensive, cheaper, and yet light enough for the Arc to be able to tie most of the weight to the battery.
Although the package is large, it is applied to the bottom of the boat and integrated into the hull structure – which inevitably adds comparisons to Tesla, which is working on structural batteries for its future vehicles. Like Tesla, Lee says Arc strives for high vertical integration. In addition to the chassis, the start-up designer designs its own enclosures for the batteries and cooling system. It is also developing software that it plans to modify and improve without updates. Arc Is procurement of packaging modules and cells and an electric motor (Lee refused to nominate suppliers).
Arc is also looking for some outside consultants to help with the 800-volt technology, as it is still rare even in the world of high-power electric vehicles. (Porsche has an 800-volt pack in Taycan, and GM is working on 800-volt batteries in Ultium-powered electric cars.) Lee warns again, that doesn’t mean there’s anything to worry about. Boats have a preference for high-voltage electrical systems, although they often use so-called “Hotel loads” – basically all the comforts of beings that are not related to propulsion.
“We’re new in the sense that this is going to be our transmission – we’re using these high-voltage batteries for this particular use,” he says. “Our entire team is dedicated to making sure we do this intelligently and safely. So we’re making some extra shutters that we’re doing, and the testing process is ridiculously strict so we can make sure we bring this system safely online. ”
Ultimately, Lee believes that the massive theoretical top of an electric boat goes beyond any warning of who is using it. He’s so rising from the idea that one day he wants to get Arc’s boats to claim zero maintenance. (Sounds familiar?)
“Boating is amazing. Owning a boat is terrible, and we want to solve all the terrible parts of owning a boat and expand the boating market, ”he says. “If we make a boat that’s yes, first-class in the market, but it reduces the headache of owning a boat and increases the magic of being on the water … I think it’s a big selling point for us. And if you’re mating that all the macro us to the right product, the right market fit, the right time. ”