Click above for a high-res gallery of the EPIC 23e

Aptera co-founder Chris Anthony is a pretty busy guy. Not only is he Chief of Composite Operations at the innovative vehicle maker but he is also the CEO of Epic Boats. That company, which makes the awesomest wake boats to be had in all the land, has just announced their first electric hybrid craft, the EPIC 23e. The boat is a plug-in hybrid whose Flux Propulsion EVO 8.1 Marine Drive System allows for all-electric operation on lithium ion batteries for some time before using a gas engine to power the generator that recharges the batteries. Epic Boats estimates that over a 4 hour operating time, this system can allow for a 50 percent reduction in fuel and resulting CO2 as well as a 90 per cent drop in carbon monoxide (CO) for the person wakeboarding at rope's end.

The 22-foot craft is expected to bring its hybrid equivalent of 375 horses to the water sometime in July. The price tag could be as much as $150,000 dollars for this specialized boat though the company foresees being able to produce a $70,000 version by 2012. We can only wonder if some of the plug-in hybrid technology used here will also find its way into into the Aptera 2h. Hit the jump for a promotional video of the EPIC 23e as well as the press release.


Source: Epic Boats / Wired]






PRESS RELEASE:

EPIC WAKEBOATS INTRODUCES THE WORLD'S FIRST ELECTRIC HYBRID SPORT BOAT

Leading Wakeboat Company Offers Fuel-Efficient Option to Boating Enthusiasts

EPIC Wakeboats, manufacturer of the world's first wakeboat, announced today the release of the world's first electric hybrid sport boat, the EPIC 23E. Propelled entirely by a silent and emissions-free electric motor, the EPIC 23E marks a new era for the sport boat industry. Designed with an electric drive system, the EPIC 23E uses half the fuel of its combustion-powered equivalent, making the boat more economical and fuel-efficient. EPIC Wakeboats CEO Chris Anthony said, "The EPIC 23E will change the way people think about water-sports. Not only is the design more environment-friendly, but it is a more affordable option for boating enthusiasts at a time when everyone is watching their budgets." At the core of the EPIC 23E is the Flux Propulsion EVO 8.1 Marine Drive System. This hybrid drive system features an extremely powerful and compact drive motor that draws from cutting-edge battery technology. Staying true to EPIC's philosophy of "Rider Designed Engineering", the 23E features an easy to use touch screen interface that incorporates stereo and video entertainment with the GPS Speed Control and other core components. Of coordinating system development between Flux Propulsion and EPIC Wakeboats, EPIC's Director of Product Development, Matt Ostmeyer said, "Our combined dedication to both environmental responsibility and performance brought to life a remarkably efficient and powerful propulsion system that will revolutionize the sport boat industry, and we are proud to be a part of that." About EPIC Wakeboats Based in San Diego, CA, EPIC Wakeboats is the creator of the 23V with 4,000 lbs of stock ballast, "D.R.O.P. Zone" Wake Enhancing Hull Technology, Resin-Infused All-Composite construction, Dual Rudder "Vector Steer System," 10-Speaker Transom Audio and many other features. EPIC currently has dealers located in California, Idaho, Texas, Florida, Utah and Colorado, as well as Australia, Canada and Mexico. For more information, please visit http://www.epicboats.com.

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