Home » World-first battery-powered maritime vehicle debuted at Abu Dhabi International Boat Show

World-first battery-powered maritime vehicle debuted at Abu Dhabi International Boat Show

by Madaline Dunn

Following its first appearance at the Cannes Film Festival in May, THE ICON, the first battery-powered maritime vehicle of its kind, recently debuted in the Gulf region at the Abu Dhabi International Boat Show, which took place at ADNEC Marina from November 9-12.

With a length of 13.15 metres and a top speed of 30 knots, the vehicle is the pioneer of a new type of watercraft with battery-electric propulsion.

Conceptualised by BMW and designed by Designworks, a subsidiary of the BMW Group with studios in Los Angeles, Munich and Shanghai, the concept was developed and realised by yacht manufacturer TYDE.

While maritime electromobility has typically been limited to smaller, slower vehicles with a comparatively short range, the segment of larger and faster boats with a longer range is 100 per cent dominated by models with combustion engines.

THE ICON redefines the relationship between the dimensions, size, top speed, and range of an electrically powered watercraft.

This is made possible by underwater wings, so-called hydrofoils, which reduce energy requirements by up to 80 per cent compared to a conventional hull.

The foiling technique, in which the vehicle rests on wings below the water level while the hull floats above the water surface, also achieves greater ride comfort and higher speed.

Two 100 kW electric motors each convert the energy content of 240 kWh provided by six batteries of the BMW i3 into a range of over 50 nautical miles (100 kilometres) at a speed of 24 knots. The maximum speed is 30 knots (55 km/h). With its innovative drive and thanks to foiling technology, THE ICON enables almost silent cruising without vibrations or slamming.

The particularly low construction and hull proportions allow the interior to be used across the entire beam of 4.5 metres.

The centre spine, which rises from the hull on both sides and forms the backbone of the watercraft, houses the technical components, such as modern LED light strips at the bow and stern, as well as the charging connection points.

The superstructure body features an origami lightweight structure and its height allows passengers to maintain an effortless upright posture throughout the interior.

As the most emotional and sculptural element in THE ICON’s design, it contrasts with the prismatic windows and roof surfaces. The body, which supports both the roof and the glass walls, is in a two-tone turquoise and golden colour scheme inspired by the colours of the sea.

TYDE is represented in the Gulf region by THE SILENT POWER, which was present at the Innovation Hub at the recently concluded Abu Dhabi International Boat Show.

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