Silent Yachts just announced that is working with Volkswagen to develop a new solar/electric catamaran with the electric power coming from VW’s modular electric drive matrix. The still-unnamed cat is being designed by Cupra, a high-performance brand of the Spanish car manufacturer Seat, which is owned by Volkswagen.
The new cat will run on Silent’s own photovoltaic system, with the propulsion based on VW’s electric drive system. VW originally designed that system to deliver power from a bank of batteries integrated into a car’s chassis to the car’s rear axle, and later to all four wheels. VW subsequently made the technology available for third-party applications.
“Volkswagen Group is one of the most advanced players on the electric cars market, and I am sure together we can make something really special on the water,” said Michael Köhler, the founder and CEO of Silent Yachts, an Austrian company.
The solar system on the yacht will feed its propulsion system as well as all the cat’s house energy needs. The idea is that a solar/electric vessel offers more independence, reliability and safety, with less maintenance costs, than a vessel powered by fossil fuel. It also is quiet, with no smoke, vibration or carbon emissions.
Köhler and his wife Heike founded Silent Yachts in 2009, after they spent 6,000 days cruising more than 75,000 miles all around the world. In the past three years, the company has delivered more than a dozen solar-powered cats. Its fleet now includes a 44, 55, 60, and 80. In 2018, a Silent 64 crossed the North Atlantic in 16 days, with no sun for more than a week.
Silent says it will have more details, including specs and pricing, for the new cat early next year. Read more: