Volkswagen is bringing the MEB modular e-drive system onto the water and is cooperating with Silent-Yachts to do so. The Seat brand Cupra is also involved in the project as a design partner.
The jointly-declared goal of Volkswagen, Cupra and Silent-Yachts is to put a ship with MEB propulsion on the water during the course of 2022. After a start-up period of four years, at least 50 of the MEB-based “Silent Yacht 50” will be produced each year.
With the MEB, the VW Group has developed a common platform for electric vehicles for its brands. The platform aims to make electric vehicles’ production “more efficient and cost-effective in the long term”. Simultaneously, Volkswagen has opened up its new platform as an industrial solution for other manufacturers and is also seeking cooperation in other sectors.
Now a new application for the modular e-drive system is emerging in shipbuilding. The idea for the collaboration already arose in 2019 as part of an intrapreneurship programme of the Innovation Fund II within the Volkswagen Group. There, VW became aware of Silent-Yachts. Now Silent-Yachts is relying on the MEB. In a joint statement, the companies said that there are economies of scale in the project because the platform is installed millions of times in the Volkswagen Group’s electric cars. This means, of course, that the yacht can be produced more cheaply. Besides, maintenance and servicing are reduced compared to a conventional yacht, as the electric drive system is less prone to repairs than conventional motors,” a statement said.
VW says: “With this, the Group wants to increase enthusiasm for electric mobility further, demonstrate the technological strengths of its platform and show that driving pleasure, long ranges, quiet cruising and clean mobility are also possible on the high seas.”
Cupra is responsible for the design of the new boat model. Together with Silent-Yachts, Cupra has given the new boat model a “contemporary touch”. But this will not remain a design study: The aim of Volkswagen, Cupra and Silent-Yachts is now to bring the boat project onto the water. In the medium term, at least 50 of the Silent Yacht 50 model are to be produced each year, and more if necessary. Besides, Volkswagen components could also be installed in all other Silent-Yachts models.