Fly Above the Water in This Awesome Electric Hydrofoil
AUTHOR: TIM MOYNIHAN. WIRED GEAR DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11.07.14.
THERE’S AN EMBARRASSING gap in your electric commute. You go from your bed to the bathroom on RocketSkates. You ride a Boosted skateboard to your parking garage, where you get in your Tesla for the drive to the ferry terminal. Unless you live in Denmark, that ferry is likely a diesel-powered craft—and you often feel perturbed about that during the electric-unicycle ride from the boat terminal to your office.
But now, you can now go fully electric on your daily travels with the $28,000, Slovenian-made Quadrofoil Q2S Electric Limited Edition. This emissions-free vessel tops out at a speed of around 25mph and gets a range of up to 62 miles per charge of its battery. It’s a seafaring coupe, with two faux-leather seats, steering-wheel-mounted acceleration and brake controls, a touchscreen display on the wheel, and a hollow fiberglass hull that the company claims is “unsinkable.”
As an added benefit, it sort of looks like the aquatic version of the speeder bikes in Return of the Jedi. Once it gets going, its four aluminum hydrofoils create enough lift to raise the 9.8-foot, 220-pound vessel out of the water. If its battery conks out while you’re on the water, rest assured that the Quadrofoil comes with a couple of life jackets, a collapsible paddle, and a safety whistle.
While the Quadrofoil can be used for seafaring journeys, it’s probably not a good idea to take it king crab fishing off the coast of Alaska. It’s designed for use in bodies of water that are at least 3.3 feet deep with maximum wave swells of 1.6 feet, so lakes, ponds, rivers, large swimming pools, and that damn puddle on the corner of 39th and 8th are a better fit.
A limited run of 100 boats is planned to ship in March of next year, but they’re available for preorder now. A step-down model, the Q2A Electric, has a top speed of 18mph and a battery range of 31 miles, and it’s due in mid-2015 for $18,500.
Rožman boasts that the state-of-the art, touchscreen steering wheel is the only control mechanism on board. It displays how much battery power is left, as well as the boat’s speed and range. The Quadrofoil can travel more than 60 miles on a single charge, according to designers.
Hydrofoil technology is not new, but according to Quadrofoil’s president and CEO, Marjan Rožman, “What is new on Quadrofoil are electric drive and patented steering technology that enable stability and agility at the same time.”