Electric boat builder X Shore takes sustainability onboard
May 08 2019
X Shore is a new boat builder joining the fast-growing market for pure electric vessels. The Swedish company is pushing its Eelex 6500 and Eelex 8000 as zero emission alternatives to conventional sport boats and tenders, placing an emphasis on concern for the marine environment and the sheer delight of noiseless performance. We spoke to Konrad Bergström, CEO & Founder of X Shore, about the company’s ethos.
Wallpaper*: What are the key things driving electric boats?
Konrad Bergström: The experience. Imagine what it feels like to enjoy the sea without fumes or noise and becoming one with nature; travelling without harming the environment. At X Shore, we’re striving to bring sustainability and innovation to the marine industry and be at the forefront of a new wave of modern electric boats.
W*: Are there economic, environmental and legislative reasons?
KB: Our mission is to provide a better seafaring experience for our customers and for Mother Nature. With new technology and innovative research, smart design and sustainable materials, X Shore embraces the long tradition of maritime craftsmanship while discarding fossil fuels, with electric power leaving a much smaller carbon footprint. This craft requires minimal maintenance and the cost to drive it is approximately a tenth compared to fossil fuels powered boats. This is why we say that X Shore is ‘the power of silence’.
W*: What benefits does electrification pose in terms of design?
KB: X Shore’s hydrodynamics in combination with software and hardware adhere to the same standards; all this results in outstanding acceleration, coupled with speed and performance over distance. We have a modular interior and an efficient hull. Other innovations include a motor designed to handle stress, a battery that has outstanding power to weight ratio and a magnetic gearbox, which ensures silence, zero air friction and no vibrations.
W*: Are X Shore’s boats designed around the powertrain?
KB: The powertrain is the heart but the X Shore innovations go way beyond. Our challenge is to combine hardware and software in harmony with the hydrodynamics. The aim is to change a traditional industry from all aspects. An X Shore craft can achieve a top speed of 40 knots. A consistent speed of 25 knots can be reached when cruising for more than 2 hours and a distance of 100 nautical miles can be completed when travelling at lower speeds. We design and build the boats using the latest CAD technology and traditional Swedish handmade craftsmanship. To achieve the best results in hydrodynamics, X Shore collaborates with Rolls-Royce to test for the optimal combination of hull, shaft, propeller and rudder.
W*: What key design elements define an X Shore boat?
KB: The bow is designed for easy docking and entry for passengers and the low freeboard at the stern brings the freedom of panoramic views, ample space for fishing and optimal utility for loading. An open-modular interior rail system allows to customise and add personal preference to the boat’s design, allowing different seats, sunbeds and cargo storage options to be mounted. The cockpit is designed for intuitive use and control, with an elevated position for a 360 degree view of the open sea. A 24-inch monitor is included, and control buttons are located within easy reach of the wheel, ensuring the pilot never loses control. Equipped with front and back thrusters for greater agility and freedom of movement, X Shore’s software guarantees the smoothest voyage and efficient battery management.
W*: What is the most likely application of these boats – tenders or standalone vessels?
KB: Well, once you try X Shore and you’ve experienced the sea without noise and fumes there is no way back! The experience can’t be put into words and is just magical. We are getting a huge amount of interest from all kinds of customers. This is why we are so strongly committed to contribute to a fossil fuel free shift on the maritime market.
W*: How did you come to collaborate with William Pacheco and Johan Ferner Ström?
KB: The design was originally inspired by the South American electric eel, which has a big powerful head and a streamlined end. The animal’s head is not very pretty so I had to bring in some artists who could help me turn this into an ornament. William Pacheco is a good friend and an amazing tattoo artist and Johan Ferner Ström is an old-time friend and my go-to sculptor when it comes to turning an idea into a casted bronze art piece. The ornament is made entirely of bronze, which in time will naturally turn green in saltwater and so becomes one with nature.