the future is electric

Electric power

Electric Boats

Over 100 years ago there were many electric boats, particularly on the Thames. Their numbers declined as first coal and then petrol and diesel powered boats were developed. However, today the priority is to find alternatives to non renewable fuels. The RAC Foundation predicts that by 2050 the majority of vehicle on the roads will be electric cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells. It may be a while before cars become all electric, but the electric boat is already the way to travel as can be seen below.

Queen Mary 2

Cunard's 150,000-ton liner Queen Mary 2 is driven by four 250 ton Rolls Royce Mermaid electric motors and is the world's largest electric boat. Electric power is generated by four on board diesel generators and two gas turbines, which together provide a power plant capacity of 118 megawatts.

The An Stradag

The world speed record for battery powered electric boats was set on Coniston Water in November 2005. The An Stradag recorded an average speed of 68.09mph.

The Sun 21

The Sun21 made the first crossing of the Atlantic under solar power. It covered 3,500 miles from Sapin in just under 30 days. In strong sunlight the boat can travel at six knots without drawing on the bateries.

The Ross Barlow

The Ross Barlow, an experimental barge developed by Birmingham University, uses fuel cells to turn hydrogen into electricity to power an electric motor. A metal hydride system enables the hydrogen to be stored at room temperatures and the weight of the storage cylinders is compensated by removal and redistribution of existing ballast.

The Electric Water Beetle

Futuremode's Electric Water Beetle is powered by a 12 volt electric outboard. It may not have the speed of the An Stradag or the range of the Sun21, but it glides silently through the water and is a great way to explore rivers and canals.


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