Luxury in the spirit of sustainability. BMW’s electric boat hits the mark

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The French city of Cannes is best known for its film festival, now in its 76th year. This year, visitors to the southern French city can enjoy an extraordinary world premiere alongside their cultural experience on the screen.

Electric mobility has its place on the water

Under the name The Icon, BMW and boat manufacturer Tyde are presenting a new kind of boat for sustainable mobility. It is the first vessel of its kind to be powered by batteries and combines locally emission-free travel with visionary luxury.

At 13.15 metres in length with a top speed of 30 knots (55 km/h), the boat pioneers a new type of watercraft. The idea was conceived by the automaker BMW, which developed the concept. The creatives at Designworks, a BMW subsidiary, are responsible for the design. Tyde, an experienced boat manufacturer, took care of the implementation. The experience is accompanied by an exclusive soundtrack created by the famous film music composer Hans Zimmer.

Hydrofoil wing significantly reduces energy consumption

The boat uses a battery electric system connected to a special underwater hydrofoil to power the boat. Thanks to this, the vessel can compete in range with the previously dominant combustion ships. The hydrofoil, which lifts the hull above the surface, reduces the energy consumption of the operation by up to 80%. In addition, the new solution brings a higher level of cruising comfort and higher speed.

Propulsion is provided by a pair of 100 kW electric motors powered by 6 batteries from the BMW i3 electric car (240 kWh). The vessel’s operating speed is 24 knots, with a top speed of 30 knots, or 55 km per hour. The command station features a special 32-inch high-resolution touchscreen display with BMW Drive graphics. The main functions as well as range or weather information can be operated by voice.

The boat is currently on display at Cannes. BMW says it is not just a design concept, but a production-ready vessel. The boat can be adapted for both private and commercial use. The BMW Group also points out that the platform offers modular adaptability to the individual design wishes and needs of each customer.

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