Cleantech & EV'sNews

This electric boat with a hydrofoil hull utilizes BMW EV batteries and has its own sound design

This year’s Cannes Film Festival saw a unique debut quite a ways away from the silver screen and out on the docks of Southern France. During the event, BMW Group Designworks and boat builder Tyde unveiled a new all-electric boat concept called The Icon. This electric hydrofoil is powered by BMW battery packs and represents a collaboration for the future of sustainability in the marine segment. Did we mention two-time Oscar winner Han Zimmer is involved too?

Designworks is a global creative design studio based in Southern California that has operated as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BMW Group since the mid-1990s. With additional offices now in Munich and Singapore, the studio has contributed its talents to several notable BMW models and has been deeply involved in the development of the automaker’s all-electric i brand.

In addition to traditional material and model design, Designworks specializes in consulting and dreaming up future forms of mobility. Combined with its deep roots in a growing EV brand, it’s no wonder the team at BMW decided to collaborate with electric boat builder Tyde.

Tyde is a German yacht builder with a specific focus on delivering marine mobility that is not only zero emissions but also provides ultimate luxury and eye-catching design. This is ethos preached by BMW Group, so it’s of little surprise the two companies teamed up to develop the Icon electric boat. Check it out.

  • BMW electric boat
  • BMW electric boat
  • BMW electric boat
  • BMW electric boat

BMW uses its tech to help power unique electric boat

According to BMW, The Icon is an electric boat that emerged from an “in-depth sharing of knowledge” between BMW, Tyde, and Designworks. Measuring 43.14 feet in length with a top speed of 30 knots (34.5 mph), the hydrofoil hull design of the electric boat reduces the energy needed to cruise by up to 80%, compared with a conventional hull that drags a larger wake.

The foils also create a smoother ride for passengers as the vessel appears to float above the water. It may seem like magic, but there’s plenty going on below the surface to propel BMW’s new electric boat. The Icon is powered by two 100 kW electric motors that feed from 240 kWh of energy onboard, dispersed between six BMW i battery packs.

At its operating speed of 24 knots (27.6 mph), The Icon makes virtually no noise, thanks to its electric motors and the boat’s foils. Even with the optimization of cruising efficiency and all-electric power, BMW’s electric concept can currently only travel about 50 nautical miles (62 mi) at sea.

While it may not be the right vessel for long voyages, BMW, Designworks, and Tyde have created a unique electric boat that provides 360-degree views and an immersive audio experience. If you’re going to name your electric hydrofoil, The Icon, it better be iconic. To do so, BMW tapped longtime collaborator and no stranger to Cannes – composer Hans Zimmer.

The Hollywood legend’s drive system sound note and intentional function tones can be experienced through a Dolby Atmos sound system installed in the cabin of The Icon, combining pleasant, intuitive, and functional sounds with “a modern driving soundtrack.” BMW described some other features on the electric boat:

The angled glass doors of the watercraft open to a lounge area with artistically designed furniture on a luxurious carpet that creates a kaleidoscope effect. Constructed from sections of metal, the hull of the watercraft reflects sunlight onto the floor like waves on the sea. The user-focused experience centers around the 360° rotating seats. The essential features, including an easy-to-reach tablet-based infotainment system, are arranged within reach. With a simple twist, the seats can be re-positioned to encourage social interaction, making The Icon a perfect meeting hub that feels at home in any port or harbor.

The electric boat is currently on display at Cannes, and BMW explained that it is not merely a design concept but a production-ready vessel adaptable for both private and commercial use. BMW Group points out that the boat’s platform offers modular adaptability to individual design wishes and needs.

As if it wasn’t unique looking enough. There’s no shortage of affluence in the South of France, especially around Cannes each year, so perhaps BMW and Tyde can find a couple of buyers, and we will see more Icons at sea.


Author: Scooter Doll
Source: Electrek

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