• Tech Tech

These electricity-powered boats can 'hover' above water: 'Noiseless, odorless and smokeless'

"It's quiet, extremely quiet."

Electric boats

Photo Credit: Getty Images

We're always told to keep electronics out of the water, but this wasn't the case for this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

The feature that made the biggest splash at the world's most prestigious technology show was one many weren't expecting: electric boats.

Typical boats burn dirty energy to power their motors, as a result releasing harmful carbon pollution into the air that traps heat within our atmosphere and causes temperatures to rise globally. 

But electric boats use batteries to glide through the water without polluting the air. 

"The electric engines are noiseless, odorless and smokeless, so there's no more yelling at each other while onboard or leaving a layer of smoke in your wake," wrote the Associated Press.

Volvo Penta is a world-leading supplier of engines and complete power systems for boats and other industrial applications. It stole the show at CES 2023 with its "boating experience of tomorrow" — involving "electric boats and structures centered on living on the water."

Besides electric boats, the concept includes Volvo Penta Island — a human-made offshore floating and mobile structure that could charge electric boats or act as a hub for hotels, restaurants, and more, all on the water. Each island could harness its energy from the sun, wind, and waves.

Another CES 2023 showstopper was flying electric boats. Navier and Candela were two watercraft makers that stole the show with electric hydrofoil boats.

Navier revealed its autonomous N30 boat at CES 2023, touting it as the longest-range electric boat and the "first commercially available electric hydrofoiling boat in America."

Hydrofoils act like airplane wings underwater, lifting boats above the surface. With the hull out of the water, the vessel can easily glide through the water, reducing the amount of energy required.

Being lifted out of the water allows these boats to avoid crashing into waves and provides a seriously smooth experience (sans seasickness). And without internal combustion engines, the N30 and Candela C-8 are quiet and won't overwhelm passengers with exhaust fumes.

"You can have a wine glass and it does not spill. And it's quiet, extremely quiet," Navier founder Sampriti Bhattacharyya told the Associated Press.

Three main reasons for the rising popularity of electric boats are rising fuel costs, growing consumer interest in electric cars and bikes, and government mandates that restrict planet-heating pollutants from gas-powered vehicles.

Want more? Follow The Cool Down on Instagram and join our Weekly Newsletter for cool stories and easy tips that save you money, time, and our planet.

Cool Divider