Volkswagen’s MEB EV powertrain to power solar yacht

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Solar power boat builder Silent-Yachts is to develop a solar electric catamaran powered by Volkswagen’s modular electric drive matrix (MEB). The vessel will be designed by VW subsidiary SEAT’s Cupra brand, with the collaboration bringing together partners from the shipping and automotive industries.

“I’m happy to cooperate with our partners on this exciting new project,” said Michael Köhler, founder and CEO of Silent-Yachts. “Volkswagen Group is one of the most advanced players on the electric cars market and I am sure together we can make something really special on the water.”

Details of the project remain sparse, but the vessel will harness Silent-Yacht’s PV arrays to provide power to a propulsion system comprising components from the MEB platform, including the motor and control system, as well as, potentially, the battery pack. The extent to which these will need adapting for marine use remains to be seen, but other manufacturers, such as Torqeedo, are already using automotive battery systems (in Torqeedo’s case, from the BMW i3). Detailed specifications and pricing are due to be released in the new year.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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