One barrier to electric boating? Consumers don't believe they're real

We talked to the CEO of X-Shore, an e-boat company that raised $18 million in April
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X Shore

· 3 min read

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When we talk about electric vehicles, we’re usually talking about cars. But an EV can be any e-vessel that moves people or goods, ranging from planes to trains.

And boats: The electric boat and ship market, worth an estimated $5 billion in 2020, is projected to double in the next five years. And X Shore, a Swedish electric boating company inspired by Tesla, has made a few waves this year after announcing an $18-million funding round in April.

X Shore’s competitors include Arc, an e-boat maker founded by former SpaceX engineers that raised a $4.25 million seed round in February, and Vision Marine Technologies, a Canadian e-boat company that IPO’d last year at a valuation of over $75 million.

  • X Shore shipped the first units of its ~$330,000 electric boat, the Eelex 8000, to customers in early 2021. It can reach speeds up to 35 knots, travel up to 100 nautical miles, and charge in eight hours.

We talked to X Shore CEO Jenny Keisu about plans for the $$ and her take on the sector’s future.

Funding plans

“The largest chunk of funding will be used for industrialization, as we are currently building a new factory in Nyköping, Sweden, with a high grade of automation and robotization, and for our expansion in the United States.”

The industry’s biggest obstacle

“One of the biggest obstacles the electric boating industry is currently facing is for buyers to understand these EV boats...are available for consumers to buy and use. As electric boating is a newer category in the EV sector, it is understandable for buyers to think these boats are only conceptual. Some may initially think electricity and water do not mix, but this is not the case with EV boats.”

Electric boats vs. the battery problem

“Different types of EVs have issues unique to them. Boats have some positive attributes cars don’t have. For example, boats have more space and can include cooling and heating systems to have battery packs with individual cold cells. Compared to EV cars, boats are mostly used for shorter distances and are not used every day, making charging possibilities easier and more convenient.”

The near future of electric boating

“Many regions and governments are implementing strong environmental measurements on boating, which will benefit the EV-boating push. For example, with the recent EV push and the growth of EV charging companies in America, we foresee the electric boating sector booming over the next five years. Electric boat charging stations and superchargers are slowly being distributed in marinas across the globe as more and more competitors enter the electric boating space.”—HF

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