Catalan-made 100% electric boat unveiled in Costa Brava to promote decarbonization on seas

Vessel showcased in Palamós with plans to build five more to support America's Cup race in Barcelona

The first Catalan-made fully electric boat, in the port of Palamós
The first Catalan-made fully electric boat, in the port of Palamós / Gerard Vilà
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

May 17, 2024 02:40 PM

May 17, 2024 03:45 PM

The Catalan business ministry has unveiled the first Catalan-made 100% electric boat during an event in the seaside town of Palamós, on the Costa Brava.

The vessel is part of a campaign to promote decarbonization on the seas and is the first of six planned to be built.

The eight-meter-long boat will also support Barcelona's America's Cup, which will start in August.

The Zephyr 800 Ecop has been built in the Catalan town of Forallac, located in the inland Baix Empordà county, and is powered by two 400 kg batteries.

The boat can reach a maximum speed of 25 knots. The boat would be able to sail for one hour at maximum speed, but with a lower speed of 5 knots, it could last for 10 hours.

Right now, one of the biggest obstacles is the cost of these boats. As with electric vehicles, the cost is higher than for internal combustion engine boats. However, the industry expects costs to come down with further development. 


"The cost is higher because of the whole system: the batteries, the inverters, the software, all the electrification which is much more expensive than a combustion engine boat," Zephyr CEO Gemma Pagès told the Catalan News Agency. "But little by little, development will bring these costs down."

Catalonia is working on a project to improve sea decarbonization, backed with a budget of €3 million. Different administrations participate in the project, including the Catalan government, providing 10% of the budget.

According to the sitting Catalan business minister, Roger Torrent, the main objective is to help with decarbonization and then sell these projects around the world. From his point of view, a big change in port infrastructure is needed.