April 14 2020
BUILDING BETTER AND MORE ETHICALLY. X SHORE WITH THIS OBJECTIVE IS LAUNCHING EELEX 8000, A 100% ELECTRIC MOTOR BOAT THAT CAN REACH 40 KN. FOR NOW, IT’S AN OBJECT FOR THE FEW, BUT THE AIM IS TO MAKE ITA BOAT FOR EVERYONE - Paola Bertelli
The electric evolution in yachting is giving the chance to many start-ups to enter the sector with something new and technologically advanced. Electric propulsion systems, but not only that, research and development are looking increasingly also at the materials used, at the shape of the hull and are seeking increased efficiency and environmental compatibility. X Shore is a Swedish start-up that makes totally electric boats, founded by Konrad Berg- ström, who says: “We are building better, more ethical ways to traverse our seas. While we embrace tradition, we must also embrace change – it is vital, and it brings new life. Our boats are fully electric and silent to combine minimal disruption of marine life with optimised user experience”. Customisable through modular elements, the boat’s design offers an endless variety of features. The motor comprises an inverter designed to handle stress; a battery that has outstanding power to weight ratio; and a magnetic gearbox, which ensures silence and zero air friction. Green requirements are becoming increasingly evident. According to research carried out in 2019 by the SMHI (Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute), shipping between Swedish ports produces more air pollution and greenhouse gases than the country's domestic flights. Using new methodology, SMHI estimates the annual emissions for all domestic shipping to be 662,000 tonnes (in carbon dioxide equivalents), of which 26.28% comes from privately-owned boats.
The 8 m Eelex 8000
Eelex 8000 is the first X Shore model to be sold and deliveries are expected in the second half of this year. The motorboat is an 8 m open with a clear Scandinavian imprint in its design: minimal and rigourous stop it can carry up to 12 people. It is powered by 145 kW electric motor that can reach peaks of up to 225 kW. The motor is powered by 260 kWh batteries located under the floor of the cockpit. These batteries can be recharged in 8 to 12 hours by an ordinary column in a Marina even if, says Konrad Bergström, “At the moment, charge points can vary quite a bit across differ- ent marinas, but we believe that in the coming years, boat charg- ing infrastructure will improve - as the technology develops and electric boats become more common - charge points for ports across the world will increase in prevalence and quality”. Ac- cording to data supplied by X Shore, the performance of Eelex is very interesting both in terms of top speed and range: Eelex 8000 can reach a peak of 40 kn and sale for about two hours 25 kn. If you’re looking for greater range, but slower speeds it can cover up to 100 miles. This is thanks also to the design of an efficient hull: “The hull of our boats has a big step in the middle - says Konrad Bergström - and when it goes up in planing this works as a semi-hydrofoil. The square bow allows for smooth docking and makes loading and unloading easier”. The hull, in a compositeof fibreglass and carbon, was designed by the X Shore team and has a very high and seaworthy bow and stern low on the water. Initially the boat was conceived with in-line transmission (the first renderings show a particularly long driveshaft) which then evolved into a Volvo Penta dual propeller stern drive. In addition to the electric motor, Eelex 8000 respects the environment also in terms of the materials used, which were chosen for their low environmental impact. “All materials used are selected to nicely blend in with the boat’s surroundings at sea”, says Konrad Berg- ström. The deck is covered in cork and the seats have a metal structure with leather finish stop all deck fittings are modular and can be added, repositioned or removed at any time thanks to a smart railing system. “Our deck design allows for customisation to the owner’s unique preferences. Not only does this allow for an endless variety of features, but the modular elements also make it easy to secure different types of loads or to accommodate dif- ferent number of passengers”. There is also an artistic detail on board that makes Eelex 8000 unmistakable. At the bow is a styl- ised eel: “The figurehead at the bow – our ornament, the Power of Silence – of the boat depicts a South American electric eel - a creature known for its power and streamlined and the inspiration for our boats. Tattoo artist William Pacheco and sculptor Johan Ferner Ström worked together to create the beautiful bronze ornament which changes its colour into a green shade as it is exposed to saltwater.
X Shore and its partners
With headquarters in Stockholm, X Shore was founded in 2016 although, says Konrad Bergström: “I first had the idea in the nineties, but at the time, the technology to deliver this vision wasn’t available. Now that the technology has caught up, and the demand for sustainable mobility has skyrocketed, there has never been a more logical time to bring our first generation of boats to the market.” The startup in addition to Eelex 8000 also plans a smaller model, Eelex 6500, and one with the superstruc- ture and night cabin, the Eeltrek 8000. Among its partners are Rolls Royce, Storebro and Chalmers University of Technology: “X Shore has teamed up with Rolls Royce in order to harness – says Bergström - its decades of knowledge and expertise by develop- ing X Shore vessels at the Rolls-Royce Hydrodynamic Research Centre (HRC). The HRC is one of the world’s leading marine re- search facilities, specialising in the development of marine pro- pulsion systems. Rolls-Royce propellers deliver excellent fuel economy, low vibration and noise levels and minimal cavitation. The propulsion systems meet the challenging combination of high performance and flexibility, reduced energy consumption and optimised life-cycle costs”. “Storebro has cultivated and de- veloped the Scandinavian boatbuilding tradition.
Storebro builds boats for every type of occasion and condition without compromising on function or comfort, and its exclusive craftsmanship is unparalleled”. “Chalmers is consistently ranked as one of the top 100 engineering universities in the world. X Shore is collaborating with the university in order to develop a sustainable strategy in the marine industry. This includes X Shore’s hydrodynamic drivetrain modularity and technological development”.