Austrian manufacturer of zero-emission boats Silent-Yachts has teamed up with Volkswagen and Cupra to develop a solar electric catamaran to be powered by Volkswagen’s modular MEB electric drive matrix.
While there is very little in the way of specific information available at time of writing, what we do know seems exciting for the future of zero-emission boating.
The promised solar electric catamaran will reportedly be designed by Volkswagen subsidiary Cupra (formerly SEAT Sport) and will combine aspects of Silent-Yachts’ solar boating technology with Volkswagen’s modular electric drive matrix (MEB) platform.
Combining compatible areas of expertise from the three companies, the new solar electric catamaran will boast noiseless navigation and an unlimited cruising range with alternative propulsion system. According to Silent-Yachts, the catamaran will provide more comfort, independence, reliability and safety with less maintenance and fewer costs than any conventional fuel-depending propulsion and energy-supply.
Building on Silent-Yachts’ 15 years of experience in delivering alternative power sources for yachts, the inclusion of Volkswagen’s MEB platform is a potentially important step towards revealing the unintended benefits of Volkswagen’s push towards delivering electric vehicles.
Designed as a modular platform for the design and production of Volkswagen’s switch to electric vehicles, by 2022 all four Volkswagen Group brands – Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, and ŠKODA – will be producing 27 vehicle models based on the MEB platform.
Instead of simply modifying vehicles originally designed to house an internal combustion engine, the new MEB platform is a ground-up redesign for all future electric vehicles, which will create more interior room and provide drivers with a better all-round view of traffic.
Further, by placing the energy storage unit between the axles in the mid-vehicle position, MEB-based vehicles are better able to distribute their weight on the front and back axles, resulting in better road handling.
Exactly what aspects of the MEB platform’s benefits will surface in the new solar electric catamaran is uncertain, and while this is not the first time vehicle and boating manufacturers have worked together to combine expertise and technology, this certainly paves the way for more creative collaborations intended to further zero-emission transport.