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83


Making waves


Swedish eco-entrepreneur Konrad Bergström believes he has a hit on his hands. His fully electric, tech-enabled, high-power craſt might just be what the marine world’s been waiting for


Words Gareth Herincx I


t’s easy to see why Swedish luxury elec- tric boat maker X Shore has been dubbed the ‘Tesla of the seas’. Its recently launched Eelex 8000 2021 Edition is light, fast and has a character- istically Scandinavian, minimalist design – yet it also boasts an impressive array of techno- logical features. A smartwatch and app allows owners to unlock the boat, start the engine, and access data, while its ‘man overboard’ fea- ture automatically stops and turns the vessel around if the wearer falls into the water. The elevated cockpit provides a 360-de- gree view of the open sea. A 24-inch GPS monitor is at the centre of the high-tech con- sole, while interceptors installed at the stern lower the roll and pitch motions of the water by 50 per cent, making for a smoother on- board experience. There are also practical touches, such as a roof rack for bikes and kayaks, a swim platform and a flat bow for easy docking. X Shore is the brainchild of Swedish eco-entrepre- neur Konrad Bergström. It is the company’s first at- tempt at a product that will be sent to customers around the globe (already vessels have been shipped from the company’s facility in Frihamnen in Stock- holm to America, Saudi Arabia and across Europe) and has been a long time in development. ‘I trade-


‘There’s instant torque, just like an electric car’


marked X Shore in 1996,’ Bergström tells Spear’s. ‘I could see that boats didn’t offer much bang for your buck. They weren’t well engineered, and their construction was simple.’ It took a while for the company to get to where it is now. ‘We had to wait for the right technology,’ says Bergström. The wait has been worth it. At the heart of the beautifully built eight-metre Eelex 8000 is a powerful 220kW electric motor paired with two 60kWh batteries, capable of propelling the craft to a top speed of 40 knots (and making it possible to wakeboard). ‘There’s instant torque, just like an electric car,’ says Bergström. ‘I have never driven a boat that accelerates so quickly.’ Priced from ¤250,000, the craft has a range of 100 nautical miles at moderate speeds and can be charged in as little as an hour us- ing an ultra-rapid charge point, or overnight via a domestic socket. ‘There’s a huge demand for this kind of product,’ says Bergström. ‘Not only is it sustainable, but it’s about getting out on the water without noise and fumes, becoming one with nature.’ Just 70 vessels are to be produced in 2021, but the plan is for thousands to be manufactured in the years to come, at multiple plants. If that happens, the Swedish company will make waves – and zero emissions, of course. S


MIRA AND THILDA BERGLIND


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