China's Surprisingly Affordable Electric Catamaran
【Summary】This article highlights a luxury 2-seater electric catamaran from China that is surprisingly cheap. Priced at $7,500, it features upholstered seats, a center console, and a pontoon-style setup. The boat's power and battery specifications are not provided, but it claims a maximum speed of 8 km/h and an operating time of 6 hours. However, the authenticity of the product is questionable, as the images on the Alibaba page seem to be taken from an Abu Dhabi resort's website.
If you're looking for an electric catamaran to take out on the lake or oceanfront, I've found one that you might be interested in. Although I don't recommend trying to buy it, since it's part of our weekly Awesome Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week column, it's still enjoyable to look at!
What sets this electric boat apart is its luxurious vibe. While we've seen some cheap e-boats on Alibaba before (I even bought one), this one looks much sleeker compared to the others.
Perhaps that's why it's priced at US $7,500, which is about 7.5 times the price of my own Chinese electric boat that doesn't have a woodgrain interior like this one.
This particular model features comfortable seats for the captain and their first mate, as well as a center console that allows the controls to be operated from either seat. This is especially useful when the captain has had too much to drink and needs to pass the reins for the night.
The boat, which is 13 ft (3.8 meters) long, floats on a pontoon-style setup and even has a canopy stretched over the seats to provide shade.
It makes me wonder if adding a solar panel array to the canopy would have been a good idea, as it could help extend the boat's range.
Of course, if anyone is daring enough to actually attempt ordering one of these online (again, not recommended), adding a solar panel would be a simple task.
The electric motor's power is unknown, but based on its appearance, it seems to be a small trolling motor similar to those found on electric kayaks. The vendor claims a maximum speed of 8 km/h (5 mph), which is quite zippy for a small catamaran like this.
Unfortunately, the Alibaba page lacks any information about the battery bank, so it's difficult to determine how far the boat can travel on a single charge. Typically, the range of small electric boats varies depending on speed, so it's likely that this boat can go quite far without leaving a massive wake behind.
The vendor claims a maximum operating time of 6 hours, but this can vary significantly based on speed. We've seen some small electric outboard/battery setups that can last anywhere from 1 hour to over a day, depending on how aggressively you use the throttle.
While the product renders look impressive, the fact that the Alibaba page only shows renders raises concerns about whether the product has actually been produced. However, they do provide real-life shots of the electric boat in action, which is reassuring.
After conducting a reverse image search, it appears that the pictures were taken from a website belonging to an Abu Dhabi resort. It's unclear whether the resort obtained the boats from Alibaba or if Alibaba discovered the cool electric catamaran and created a dubious listing afterwards.
Regardless, it's nice to know that these fun-looking electric boats do exist somewhere and that someone is enjoying them!
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