Swedish eco-entrepreneur and founder of X Shore Konrad Bergström believes he has a hit on his hands. His fully electric, tech-enabled, high-power craft might just be what the marine world’s been waiting for, writes Gareth Herincx
It’s easy to see why Swedish luxury electric boat maker X Shore has been dubbed the ‘Tesla of the seas’. Its recently launched Eelex 8000 2021 Edition is light, fast and has a characteristically Scandinavian, minimalist design – yet it also boasts an impressive array of technological features.
A smartwatch and app allows owners to unlock the boat, start the engine, and access data, while its ‘man overboard’ feature automatically stops and turns the vessel around if the wearer falls into the water. The elevated cockpit provides a 360-degree view of the open sea. A 24-inch GPS monitor is at the centre of the high-tech console, while interceptors installed at the stern lower the roll and pitch motions of the water by 50 per cent, making for a smoother onboard experience. There are also practical touches, such as a roof rack for bikes and kayaks, a swim platform and a flat bow for easy docking.
X Shore is the brainchild of Swedish eco-entrepreneur Konrad Bergström. It is the company’s first attempt at a product that will be sent to customers around the globe (already vessels have been shipped from the company’s facility in Frihamnen in Stockholm to America, Saudi Arabia and across Europe) and has been a long time in development.
‘I trademarked X Shore in 1996,’ Bergström tells Spear’s. ‘I could see that boats didn’t offer much bang for your buck. They weren’t well engineered, and their construction was simple.’
It took a while for the company to get to where it is now. ‘We had to wait for the right technology,’ says Bergström.
The wait has been worth it. At the heart of the beautifully built eight-metre Eelex 8000 is a powerful 220kW electric motor paired with two 60kWh batteries, capable of propelling the craft to a top speed of 40 knots (and making it possible to wakeboard). ‘There’s instant torque, just like an electric car,’ says Bergström. ‘I have never driven a boat that accelerates so quickly.’
Priced from €250,000, the craft has a range of 100 nautical miles at moderate speeds and can be charged in as little as an hour using an ultra-rapid charge point, or overnight via a domestic socket.
‘There’s a huge demand for this kind of product,’ says Bergström. ‘Not only is it sustainable, but it’s about getting out on the water without noise and fumes, becoming one with nature.’
Just 70 vessels are to be produced in 2021, but the plan is for thousands to be manufactured in the years to come, at multiple plants. If that happens, the Swedish company will make waves – and zero emissions, of course.