Los Angeles-based electric boat company Arc announced this morning that sales have opened for its flagship Arc One electric speedboat, which the company boasts is the “most powerful electric watercraft commercially available.”
The Arc One earns that power title handily, mostly due to two factors.
First, it’s loaded to the teeth with a giant motor and a massive battery pack to supply the necessary power.
And second, there simply aren’t that many commercially available electric boats… yet.
Even with a limited number of options to choose from, Arc is leaving most electric boat manufacturers in its wake, quite literally. The company has opted for high performance to differentiate itself from the competition.
While some companies are lifting their boats out of the water to achieve higher speeds and longer operating times, Arc has solved the problem by doubling down on shoehorning in more motor power and bigger battery capacity.
The Arc One has opted for an ultra powerful 500 hp (372 kW) electric motor that can blast the boat up to 40 mph (34 knots or 64 km/h).
A powerful motor requires a massive battery to supply it, and the Arc One delivers on that front too. Described as being “triple the capacity of a Tesla Model Y,” the 220 kWh battery on the Arc One is said to weigh over 3,000 pounds (1,360 kg) and provide three to five hours of run time before requiring a recharge.
A 240V outlet can replenish the large battery overnight, though the boat also features DC fast charging to significantly reduce that recharging time.
As the company explained, “If you’re lucky enough to be at a marina with a DC fast charger, you can get an 80% charge in as little as 40 minutes.”
The 24-foot boat can carry up to 12 people in its aluminum hull, which was specially designed to support the weight of the boat’s massive battery pack.
Pre-orders have now opened for the new electric boat, but don’t expect to make this purchase on an impulse. Priced at $300,000, the Arc One requires a customer with, well, boat money. It’s certainly not the cheapest way to get into electric boats, but the local California construction and in-house development of the boat, drivetrain, and battery don’t come cheap.
The announcement comes as the nascent electric speedboat market has begun heating up. When Swedish electric boat maker Candela unveiled its C-8 hydrofoil boat last year and then began taking orders, it quickly outpaced sales for comparably sized gas-powered speedboats in the region, demonstrating that pent-up demand for electric boats could convert into real sales.
Since I began covering the Arc One last year, I’ve been excited to see what this new electric boat could do.
The power level they are talking about is impressive, but it also means you’ve got to cram in a seriously huge battery to supply it… which they do. That’s likely a significant factor in the pricing.
Considering you’ve already got to be in the fairly upper crust of society to afford something like this, perhaps the high price won’t really be a problem. And as much as I’d love to see electric boat prices come down, I understand that the first few debuts from new companies are going to follow the Tesla Roadster model of power and luxury first. I just can’t wait until we get to the Model 3 of the boat world too. And if Arc does well enough with the One, who’s to say there isn’t a more affordable model for the average fisherman Joe in the company’s future?
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