• Jul 6, 2010
Gibbs Technologies Aquada – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Man is back to his old tricks again: this time doing his best to keep down a fledgling amphibious car manufacturer. Gibbs Technologies is reportedly running into a tangle of regulation when it comes to bringing its Aquada to market – an amphibious vehicle that's said to be just as home on the lake as it is motoring around your neighborhood. According to TheDetroitBureau.com, the main issue seems to be that regulatory bodies want the car to conform to safety and emissions standards for both cars and boats. Unfortunately, those two worlds aren't exactly compatible. For starters, the EPA wants the Aquada to use a standard catalytic converter. Unfortunately, the emissions equipment needs to operate at close to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit – nearly 1,200 degrees more than what the U.S. Coast Guard allows on a typical watercraft.

Things get even more complicated on the safety front. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration wants the Aquada to come equipped with airbags, only Gibbs Technologies worries that pounding from waves will set the devices off accidentally – a scenario that we'd rather not encounter.

In order to help put some of the worries surrounding the Aquada aside, the company is planning to release an amphibious ATV called the Quadski. With a top speed of around 45 mph on both land and water, the craft should be the Aquada's high-strung younger brother without many of the same thorny legal issues. So far, Gibbs hasn't released any photos or information on the Quadski, but the company plans to begin selling the craft next year.



[Source: The Detroit Bureau]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      simple - full EV drivetrain (This car was never designed with long trips in mind.) = Cat problem solved.

      Airbags, again, have a a disabling circuit that shuts them off when the car is in amphibious mode.

      If this company can't engineer around these problems, they probably didn't need to be building a car for the public road anyway.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Make it a three-wheeler. No crash requirements.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Thats correct, they built it to be used on both land and water, it should meet the regulations for both.
        Not sure about the safety reasons behind the max temperature for emissions, but everyone can agree on the seatbelt issue.
        • 4 Years Ago
        RTFA:
        NHTSA has refused a waiver to allow the airbags to be switched off while the vehicle is in the water.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Given the drag associated with boating, a fully electric drive train wouldn't take you very far from the dock. Add in an engine to recharge, and you're right back into NHTSA emissions regs.
        • 4 Years Ago
        How is it that the National HIGHWAY Transportation Safety Administration has any authority to regulate what happens on the water?
        • 4 Years Ago
        RTFA:
        NHTSA has refused a waiver to allow the airbags to be switched off while the vehicle is in the water.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What a horrid waste of effort.

      We're complaining that 'the man' is keeping this from coming to market??? Who would ever think this was a good business to invest in?

      It will cost $85,000, suck as a car AND suck as a boat. And, look at it. ugh.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Ribbit Ribbit"
      • 4 Years Ago
      Are there really that many amphibious cars out there that the lack of catalytic converters or airbags will have any affect on the world? It's not like people are buying these things by the thousands. At any point, I think these should be regulated from just one point of view, either rule it as if it were a car or rule it as if it were a boat. That said, how have previous amphibious car owners and manufacturers handled all this? They've been making these things for at least a half a century.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That thing is adorable.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Who even buys these things? I mean obviously there are plenty of things out there that people merely buy for the novelty. But as mentioned this thing isn't good as either a boat or a car. Combining two different types of transportation usually doesn't yield a great product. As a boat owner myself I'd never want to combine the same item for both in water and on road use. I just never understood the point of these things in regards to the general public.

      Granted there ahave uses in other areas though. One fire dept here has an old amphibious vehicle that's atleast 50 years old. It's about 26 feet long however doesn't look much like an on road vehicle looks like a boat with wheels on slapped on it. But being along the river it serves them well for the Scuba team since they can just drive it right in and not have to worry about towing a boat to the river and then launching it somewhere.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Train some guys to put the car together. Then sell the drivetrain seprate and sell it as a kit car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not Impressive but fine. I find this post dis-interest and very boring.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Adrenaljunkie said exactly what I was thinking. However, if it is impossible to turn off airbags while in the water, can't they install sensors and algorithms that know the difference between hitting an object and hitting waves? Most wave impact comes from below the vehicle, whereas regular collisions are from the side, right?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ok, so enough about that carboat that (almost) nobody would buy anyway... Check out the green Mustang in the background. Nice.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Adrenaljunkie said exactly what I was thinking. However, if it is impossible to turn off airbags while in the water, can't they install sensors and algorithms that know the difference between hitting an object and hitting waves? Most wave impact comes from below the vehicle, whereas regular collisions are from the side, right?
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