Volkswagen’s gas-less future isn’t limited to pavement. The German automaker is teaming up with Silent-Yachts to make a new, totally solar-powered catamaran.
The concept in itself isn’t new. The Austrian company has developed and honed solar-electric seafaring technology over 15 years. In the past decade, Silent-Yachts has already delivered a dozen vessels across four different models: the Silent 55, Silent 60, Silent 80 and Silent 80 3-Deck, the numbers referencing each’s length in feet.
Where the upcoming “Silent Yacht 50” differs from those models is in the implementation of Volkswagen’s modular e-drive system (MEB), the same platform utilized in the VW electric dune buggy and ID Buzz Cargo electric van concepts.
Even when scaled up for a 50-foot yacht, Volkswagen claims that the made-for-EV MEB leads to more energy efficiency and cost effectiveness, significant noise reduction, and a lot more instantaneous power when compared to gas-powered counterparts. Barcelona-based CUPRA, an EV company that typically focuses on sporty roadgoers, has also been tapped to add automotive-inspired flare, with rounder edges and more paneling.
After the first MEB-equipped, CUPRA-designed Silent Yacht 50 hits the water in 2022 and a startup period of four years, Volkswagen expects to produce at at least 50 examples annually.
Just one question: where’s the VW badge?