Updated Aug 3, 2021

Race to build first commercial electric speedboat

Work by a team of former SpaceX rocket engineers has started on a 24ft 475-horsepower electric speedboat project.

Seed funding of £3m has already been raised to begin work by an LA-based company, Arc Boat.

The craft will cost around $300,000 and should be available by the end of 2021. Boats can be reserved with a $1,000 deposit on the Arc Boat website.

The chief executive, Mitch Lee, has said he wanted to build the boat knowing the impact conventional petrol or diesel powered boats have on the environment with emissions and noise.

Mitch Lee said: "They not only get just two miles to the gallon, they also pump a lot of those fumes into the water. In addition, there is the huge noise pollution factor [of conventional boats] and that is awful for the marine life. With gas-powered boats it's not just carbon emissions into the air, it's also polluting the water and causing noise pollution. Electric boats eliminate all that."

He is also hoping this will help to bring technology for other electric crafts and said: "We started in February with no team, no money and no warehouse. By December we are going to be selling the Arc One, and we are hiring aggressively because we want to accelerate the adoption of electric boats across a whole range of craft."

Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, who has also backed other successful ventures such as Facebook, has backed the boats for success.