Fully Charged

October 07 2020

In this final instalment of his Swedish trilogy, Andy takes to the water with X SHORE boats to find out how these cutting edge, 100% pure electric boats are having a positive impact on the environment. X SHORE, along with CAKE bikes, POLESTAR and AWAKE (boards), have formed the AIM ZERO project to promote the reduction of carbon footprint and in particular divers are using X SHORE boats to clean up Swedish waterways.

The distinct design of the X SHORE resembles a fishing boat at the front and a modern sailing boat at the back with a flat, open design making them perfect for diving. They are modern, easy to drive and can certainly get up to some speed! With benefits of cost savings, no fumes, no engine sounds and helping the environment - could the future of boats be truly electric?

Transcript:

Andy Torbet

Electric vehicles doesn't just mean cars. This is the X shore, a cutting edge, 100% pure electric boat. And what's even better is recently it's been used on environmental projects here in Sweden. Welcome to Fully Charged.

Andy Torbet

The reason that EV technology excites me isn't just because the tech's cool, but it's because of the positive impact it can have the environment. So when you get EV companies supporting conservation, environmental projects, I think that's just the perfect combination. And that's what happening in Sweden today, in Stockholm.

Andy Torbet

You've got four companies, all EV manufacturers, CAKE Bikes, Awake Boards, X Shore Boats and Polestar Cars are coming together to create Aim Zero, a project that supports conservation, projects with zero carbon emissions. I'm especially excited today because there's a group of Swedish divers who've been out using X Shore boats to clean up the waterways and the coastline and seas around Sweden. And today I get to give them a hand.

Erik Radstrom Acnell:

We started the Aim Zero on a lunch break. I saw an article about the X Shore boats and Konrad's vision about electrical boats. So I actually wrote him an email asking him if I can borrow one of the boats for diving. And actually I got a reply that sure, of course you can get two. And then that was the start of the project.

Andy Torbet

So what does Aim Zero aim to do?

Erik Radstrom Acnell:

Aim Zero aims to reduce the carbon footprint in our own projects. We want to inspire people to think of their own carbon footprint in their projects. There's a lot of people cleaning the oceans today and they're picking up ghost nets and we think it's the next step now to take and change the vehicles they use for electrical ones, to reduce their own footprints. And in our projects, we aim for a zero footprint and that's what we're doing today.

Erik Radstrom Acnell:

Mainly we clean the oceans. We pick up trash from the bottom and we also pick up old ghost nets. Nets from fishing boats that they lost in wrecks or big rocks or something like that. And they lost it in the sea. These nets keep on fishing. So the fish gets trapped, you've got seals and other animals chasing them and get trapped as well. So we remove these nets and bring them to the surface and recycle them.

Andy Torbet

So what's the X Shore like to dive off?

Erik Radstrom Acnell:

It's a great dive boat. It's fantastic. You have open space, you have open, fully open in the back, so you can jump out. It's easy to come up in with the diving ladder in it. And it's silent, extremely silent, no fumes in the back. It's a fantastic boat to dive from.

Andy Torbet

That's great. So what's the plan for today?

Erik Radstrom Acnell:

For today, we're actually going to use four different vehicles to transport divers or actually use in the project to clean this restaurant and the area around it. We're going to take a Polestar 2 car, we're going to take a CAKE Osa bike, and we're going to take the X Shore boat and transport the divers. We're going to dive from the boats from the harbor here, and we're going to clean the bottom underneath the restaurant and around it. And we hope to find a lot of garbage to bring up to the surface and get away for recycling.

Andy Torbet

So Konrad, what was the inspiration behind starting X Shore?

Konrad Bergström:

Well, I have always loved the sea and with my previous business, I managed to make an exit. And after that, I could make this dream happen, be in a segment where you can really change something to the better. Because the water's density has 784 times the air. So driving anything in water takes a lot of energy. So the savings is actually bigger in boats than cars and other vehicles.

Andy Torbet

As far as the X Shore goes, there's no emissions, it's all very environmentally friendly. It's silent as well, which I noticed, which is great. But from a tactical point of view, what can it do? How fast can it go? How big is its range? How long does it take to recharge?

Konrad Bergström:

I do think that we need to help mother earth on its way to go back on track, but I don't believe that we should go back and live in a cave. And with this project I wanted a modern boat that X Shore delivers 40 knots in top speed, 25 knots as far distance as possible. And this boat can go at least 30 nautical miles in 25 knots. And up to 50 when we tried it, but it depends on the salt in the water. It depends on currents, wind and waves.

Andy Torbet

Of course, it's affected in the same way as a combustion engine boat would be. Your fuel economy is washed, if you are into wind and into waves and into current. So as far as how it's like to skipper, to drive, is there any differences to how you would pilot an electric boat compared to an old fashioned boat??

Konrad Bergström:

What we're riding right now is a prototype. So the boat that we're launching in a month, the Eelex 8000, 2021 edition, that one is very much different to this. We're super excited over the new version because it's easy to drive. You can put it on autopilot, et cetera. So all of this stuff is coming. What you see in the cars is also coming into the boat, but there is always a little bit behind because the car industry is bigger and getting the most focus from the beginning.

Konrad Bergström:

But of course we are piggybacking on the automotive industry. So the better that gets, the better we are going to get our boats as well. And then certain things we, of course, have to develop and innovate ourselves because there is difference between the car and a boat.

Andy Torbet

Just run me through some of the features that are different on this boat.

Hedda Hökfelt:

Yeah, so we have different features on the steering wheel. For example, you can turn off and on the lanterns so people can see you in the dark. So you have lanterns in the back and also in the front. And then we have a feature with jet streams, both in the front and in the back. So by using these buttons, it makes the boat able to spin around 360 degrees without the moving.

Hedda Hökfelt:

And also you have a nice feature with a big sleek screen. So you can see different features about the motor and the battery. And you can also see the feature of which speed you're going. One of my favorite features in the boat is the man overboard feature. So if you press this button, it will make a dot on the map. So you can see where the person is in the water. So you can go back and pick up the person safely.

Andy Torbet

Having a big touch screen like you've got here is what you can expect from modern electric cars like Teslas and Polestars and that stuff. So it's nice to see that this very high tech feature has found its way into boats as well.

Hedda Hökfelt:

I think it's very unique and I think it's nice because it makes it so much more easier to see on the map where you're going. And I think all the feature makes the boat easier to use. When you have different screen, it makes it more blurry, which one you're going to look at and where you see the different features. And this one just puts everything together and it just makes sense.

Andy Torbet

And can you watch YouTube on it?

Hedda Hökfelt:

No, we can't.

Andy Torbet

You can't?

Hedda Hökfelt:

But we talked about it.

Andy Torbet

You could get on there and then you could watch Fully Charged.

Hedda Hökfelt:

But you will have... Yeah, exactly.

Andy Torbet

And what else I like is the power controls, the big lever. It's quite a subtle ... which I like.

Hedda Hökfelt:

It's very nice. It melts into the rest of the boat and it's a very sleek design, so it looks nice. And yeah, it's a nice touch.

Andy Torbet

Away from the technology, the aesthetics of it. Because it's a beautiful looking... There's clearly a lot of thought gone into the look of it, the lines, the materials?

Konrad Bergström:

Sometimes it's good to have three decades to think because you do it over and over again. And the design has really been refined and then refined again. And we come from three aspects of the design. Of course, the functionality is that we have symmetrical stairs, so you don't fall into the boat. You can actually walk really easy. We have a big flat open space for easy entry. We have a low space in the back so you can even put on your bike or other heavy stuff. Or if you're in a wheelchair, this is the perfect boat.

Konrad Bergström:

The looks, the aesthetics, is really important because good looks is also sustainable because you want to have it for longer and people want to buy it as a second hand. So it took us quite some time to find this distinct design that we have. And to tell you the truth, it's basically a fishing boat in the front and a modern sailing boat in the back.

Konrad Bergström:

But other boat companies haven't really been able to build small boats like this because the engine takes up so much space. But the advantage of an electric engine that is 40 centimeters and weighing 80 kilos, is that we can make it really flat in the back.

Andy Torbet

Okay. So we've been doing about five knots up to this point. But this boat can do a whole lot more.

Konrad Bergström:

Fully charged.

Andy Torbet

Let's go fully charged. Okay, let's eat this up. Everybody, hang on to your-

Konrad Bergström:

Hold the camera.

Andy Torbet

Hang on to your cameras.

Konrad Bergström:

Come on, push it.

Konrad Bergström:

We have two times 60 kilowatt of batteries. So it's very powerful. What's unique is that we actually take out around 450 [inaudible 00:12:53] to go up to planing. And that is what really differs us from the others, that we need a lot of power for a short moment of time to get up. And the engine is 220 kilowatts. So around 300 horsepower and you could feel it, it's really powerful.

Andy Torbet

So how easy is it to charge it, because a car you just drive it to the charging station. Is it more difficult with a boat?

Konrad Bergström:

No, because the grid is really been welled out in harbors because the big ships needs a lot of electricity. So actually we've been surprised that it's electricity everywhere, in a much better way than for an electric car.

Konrad Bergström:

I think there is going to be political reasons to change to electrical boats. I think the experience is so much better. So we have a full line of boats coming out and the technology is just getting better and better and more effective. So it's going to be electric boats. That's the future for sure.

Andy Torbet

The world of electric vehicles is just ever expanding. It's not just cars, it's not just bikes. It's not just boats. It looks like the future, all vehicles, all forms of transport, be it land or at sea, will be electric. And all these vehicles are aiming for a zero impact on the environment. But what's especially good for me is when vehicles like this one are being used to have a positive impact on the environment. I hope more and more projects like these take off in the future.

Andy Torbet

I'll finish off by saying obviously thank you to all our Patreon supporters and our YouTube members, without whose support episodes like this would not be possible. You can obviously like and subscribe to the channel. That's a big help too. Or if you fancy, take a look at the Patreon and YouTube member links below and see if that's something you might be interested in. And apart from that, as always, if you have been, thanks for watching.

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