SeaBubbles launches electric hydrofoil taxi in France
French startup SeaBubbles has announced the first commercial deployment for its electric water taxi. Following its certification, the hydrofoil will ferry passengers on Lake Annecy, France.
The hydrofoil will not be alone on the lake, but is being launched as part of a pilot fleet on Lac d’Annecy, offering CO2-free shuttle services in partnership with the French municipal association Grand Annecy. With eight tours per day over a two-month period (from 1 July to 31 August 2023), the initiative is expected to save an estimated 100 tonnes of CO2 emissions on the lake compared to internal combustion boats.
Not much was announced in the way of technical specifications, but it was announced that four passenger seats are built into the hydrofoil. On their own website, SeaBubbles then claims that the vehicle is “Designed for 5 passengers, our uniquely designed Bubble sails at 12 knots (22 km/h).” In terms of acceleration, the company writes: “This foiler has the fastest take-off on the market. At 6 knots, the hull leaves the water and moves into flying position in just 3 seconds.”
“This initiative marks the start of a major new stage since the SeaBubbles teams joined our territory. We are committed to experimenting with next-generation solutions. This pilot project for carbon-free waterborne mobility is a source of inspiration for inventing tomorrow’s mobility solutions,” stated Frédérique Lardet, President of Grand Annecy.
This is not the first electric hydrofoil on the market, however, it is the first from France. The two main competitors are Artemis Technologies from Belfast, who presented a concept vehicle last year, and Candela, who has been in the market with their electric hydrofoil C-8 since 2021, and recently launched a new variant in the USA.