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-   -   Epic Sport Electric Boat (and Dune Buggy) - first ride! (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=795368)

ReSession 09-04-2012 7:29 AM

Epic Sport Electric Boat (and Dune Buggy) - first ride!
 
6 Attachment(s)
I wanted to post a few pics of my boss's new Epic 232 Electric Sport boat, to show where technology could be moving in the future? It's an I/O so no wakesurfing behind this boat...but it's still pretty cool!

The boat has 160 batteries on it, and weighs over 6000 lbs - they sent him an Epic dune buggy with the new boat, since it was delayed several months! The starter battery was dead (go figure!!) so I had to go help him charge it, then we went out for a quick cruise.

It's SUPER strange being on a boat that is "On" and not making a sound. And when you put it in gear, the only sound you hear is the whirr of the prop and the water rushing by. We hit 35mph no problem (he said it goes 45!), which is faster than some wakeboard boats! We then took it back in and put it back on the charger...it's shipping back to TX next week for some work/testing over the off-season.

Not sure we'll be seeing electric boats go mainstream anytime soon (these boats are NOT cheap, and this is the only one in the US!)...makes a Nautique G25 seem affordable!

Had to post a pic of the dune buggy too...we hit 50mph on his street!

dirwoody 09-04-2012 8:37 AM

Wow - Free badazz dune buggy with purchase. That thing must be pricey!

kme3113 09-04-2012 9:10 AM

That looks like it could be a complete nightmare to work on if something went bad on it! Cool to see some new innovation aside from just claiming a bigger wake for a change

CobraRob 09-04-2012 9:35 AM

Parker, getting their grubby paws on anything with a control system..

grant_west 09-04-2012 9:37 AM

That's pretty cool thanks for sharing the pic's and info. IMO it looks way better to
Work on then 99% of the v drive boats out their. Albeit that you have to know what your doing working on a boat like this. And that only a few people could only be qualified to work on somthing like this. Knowing what I know about electric cars and Hybrids (they have been very reliable and maint free) I would assume that Maint and the fact that their isn't much or shouldn't be much is a pretty big sale point. I'm guessing somthing like this is in the 120-150
Range. But that's just a guess. Cool to see it I hope this tec. Trickles across more styles of boats. I could see this tec working out very good on a pontoon boat. Where most of the time Ur under 5mph and they have the ability to store lots of battery's and have Acess to a huge Bimini that could be used as a solar panel

ReSession 09-04-2012 9:48 AM

Totally agree, Grant- I'll admit that I got a little weirded out when standing over the engine, not having a clue what I was looking at! I jokingly asked where the Flux Capacitor was installed!

Apparently they are building a bimini with solar chargers on the top (think of the new hardtop for the Centurion FX-22), so that will be a new addition for next season. Plus, as you mentioned...there is no dealership you can take this to and have them work on it. They had a few technicians and the President of Epic fly out for delivery; they also had to do a presentation to the local city board, because several neighbors complained that the boat was going to "blow up" with all the batteries!

He was looking at a few other companies that build smaller/cruising electric boats, but top speeds were maxed out at 5-8 mph and battery life was only a few hours so he went with the Epic...definitely at the high range of your estimate too.

pprior 09-04-2012 10:16 AM

That is just flat out awesome. Being on a totally quiet boat would be so fun. Thanks for posting those. I'm glad there are folks that can afford this stuff.

BTW, did you dodge the faces on this picture or what?

saceone 09-04-2012 1:26 PM

with all the weight of the batteries, do you need ballast? lol

cadunkle 09-04-2012 9:27 PM

I don't care for quiet. I don't understand why it's an I/O. Big electric motor and a crapload of batteries, should be able to do the same thing with a direct drive or vdrive. Cost savings going direct since electric motor is likely smaller than an engine and could possibly be hidden under floor.

So an electric I/O... What is the battery life at riding speed?

tommyg 09-05-2012 6:57 AM

forget the boat, I wanna see more pics of the dune buggy!

grant_west 09-05-2012 10:07 AM

Their was another thread a few weeks back about another Electric boat. This one was a Colbalt
Hull With a electric motor conversion.
Again another I/O the question was brought
Up about Why an I/O? The answer was that a I/O is or was 15%more efficient then a D/D or V drive. So as far as I know the Orignal Epic 23E was a v-drive (and it worked like a Chevy Volt) batteys with a Gas motor to charge it back up like a generator. Then Epic came out with the Epic I/O all electric that we see in this thread. Then we saw Nautique come out with what looked like a prototype All electric D/D ski boat. Then like I said we saw a New company pop up that has a all electric Colbalt (the thread was called Tesla of the water). So thats 3 all electric Domestic ski/ wake boats in the last 3-5 years. That's pretty cool IMO yes the industry is looking in that direction. My brother has a all eletric Nissan Leaf and it's pretty cool. With the Auto
Industry years ahead of the Boat industry it's cool to see that in this case they are right their. I think what Chris Anthoney has done with Epic is amazing I'm surprised at how little we hear about him and his story. It would be cool to have a book and or Artical about epic and it's roots Very interesting home project turned into a serious boat company.

ReSession 09-05-2012 10:58 AM

I don't believe there's any ballast for the boat, there were 2 pumps mounted on the starboard side but they appear to run water directly into the engine for cooling? (seen in the 4th picture down, black lines running from the right into the top left/right of the engine)

As far as the picture, my buddy took it using Instagram so it looks like their heads are blurred for some reason? (I was too busy snapping pics of the engine to actually take one of the boat) - those are the guys from Epic pictured, doing some testing during delivery.

Battery life is claimed to be 8 hours at cruising speed, but we haven't verified that yet :)

Check out the video review of their first prototype below, will help to provide some details about how it works!

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/2pP-YHWq1cI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

pprior 09-05-2012 6:47 PM

Great video and that quiet running is absolutely EPIC (pun intended!) And I was worrying about the electric safety issues, they clearly dealt with that well

wakebordr11 09-05-2012 7:36 PM

Cool video and that wake didn't look half bad for an IO...

882001 09-05-2012 7:41 PM

160 batterys? at 100$each is 16,000!! ouch every couple of years

wakebordr11 09-05-2012 7:43 PM

^ Boat costs more than a G23... 150+ probably, don't worry about 16k every 3-5 years... Nbd

idaho_hillbilly 09-05-2012 10:16 PM

Didn't Epic produce a electric v-drive boat a couple years ago? I will say....pretty cool boat, but for $150k you sure could buy a lot of gas!

diamonddad 09-05-2012 11:06 PM

Quote:

a huge Bimini that could be used as a solar panel
Reality check... 1 gallon of gas roughly equals the energy of 50 square meters of solar panels collecting the sun for one full day. So, a huge bimini of 3 x 5 meters would produce energy of 1/3 a gallon of gas each full day it is in the sun. Assuming 30 gallons of gas for a paltry wakeboarding day, this bimini would provide the necessary energy once every 90 days in the sun. So, put a huge array of panels on the roof of your house and plug your boat into the array at the dock. Don't waste your time with panels on the boat.

ReSession 09-06-2012 6:00 AM

He already has a huge array of solar panels on his garage, which plugs into the dock ;) You're talking about a guy with a lot of toys and dispensable income! He will not be jamming around on this thing all summer long (only lives in VT 50% of the time), so it's not like he expects it to recharge as he goes. Perhaps he'll find out this above information, but I'm just passing on what he told me. Maybe Epic has something up their sleeve...I mean hell, they've built an electric boat!

cadunkle 09-06-2012 6:32 AM

I fail to see the point of buying one of these, even more so after learning more details. So it costs $150k+... What does it do to justify the extra $50k over a top of the line inboard? How many KWH does it take to go from empty to full charge? I'd like to figure how much it costs to run the boat for a day, or an hour. How much less does it cost than a normal gas boat for a typical 75-100 hr season? How long before you get any ROI vs a comparable gas boat?

Also charge time is a factor. I can fill my boat with gas in 5 minutes or less. Does this thing charge in 5 minutes or less? Where can you charge it if not at home? If I want to run a few hundred miles south and play in the bay or ICW, or do an overnight trip I can... Because you can get gas anywhere. I don't see needing to recharge an electric boat being convenient or easy when away from home.

boardjnky4 09-06-2012 7:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cadunkle (Post 1781060)
I fail to see the point of buying one of these, even more so after learning more details. So it costs $150k+... What does it do to justify the extra $50k over a top of the line inboard? How many KWH does it take to go from empty to full charge? I'd like to figure how much it costs to run the boat for a day, or an hour. How much less does it cost than a normal gas boat for a typical 75-100 hr season? How long before you get any ROI vs a comparable gas boat?

Also charge time is a factor. I can fill my boat with gas in 5 minutes or less. Does this thing charge in 5 minutes or less? Where can you charge it if not at home? If I want to run a few hundred miles south and play in the bay or ICW, or do an overnight trip I can... Because you can get gas anywhere. I don't see needing to recharge an electric boat being convenient or easy when away from home.

it's not practical, it's a novelty

ReSession 09-06-2012 8:27 AM

^^^ exactly! He just likes to say he's the only one in North America with one! It's another James Bond toy for him. He will be on this boat maybe 10 times a season, driven a few hours max per outing. He doesn't care about the cost/hour or charge times or taking long trips over the lake. He'll never venture far enough out of the bay to worry about needing to find a charging station. It charges in 6-8 hours and runs for the same amount of time as I understand. There's no justification for the purchase, other than bragging rights. It's a new technology and he's all about being the first guy on the block to have the newest toy. Tough for the rest of us to justify the purchase but he's not losing any sleep over it! It's like trying to beat him up over the crappy MPGs that his new convertible orange Lambo gets ;)

diamonddad 09-06-2012 8:46 AM

Quote:

How much less does it cost than a normal gas boat for a typical 75-100 hr season?
I am sure the running costs would be at least 2X that of gasoline. This is ignoring the battery replacement costs and the boat's inflated price.

Its a lose-lose situation financially and environmentally. So, yes, it's a novelty -- I guess Epic has an excess of resources these days.

grant_west 09-06-2012 9:24 AM

With these boats (electric) I'm a glass is half full guy, I think they are cool and I hope they can become a reality. Did the first electric car's compair to gas car's? NO
They still cant compair. Depending on what do you them and how you use them, they work for some people very well. Example I doubt there is EVER gonna be a Electric boat that will pull wakeboarders and Ski'r all day long on a single charge. Yes its some what of a Novelty. And so is the Tesla, and So is the Fisker but for some people they work and that's who they are hopeing will buy one. (im guessing because the boat dosn't have flames and skulls all over it they are not trying to sell to the Wakeboard community)

Dane. I agree it takes alot of energy to push a boat at 21 MPH way more than a Huge Bimin could ever support. But at idle speed a Bimini Size solar panel could power a electric motor. If you look around you will see there is a hand full of company's making what im talking about tooner with a solar bimin.


A hybrid wake boat is very intresting to me. A system like how a Prius works. Electric motor for when your under Idle and a gas motor for when you need it.
It would be cool to have a electric motor to push the boat out threw the 5mph zone and then a Gas motor to Wakeboard behind.

Here is a Video of a Cat with twin add on Electric motors made for 5 mph action A great set up for a pontoon boat.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udBoNSPZYBo

diamonddad 09-06-2012 11:43 AM

Ya, I like the idea of a solar party barge/island for scooting around the neigborhood without a big noisy motor.

ReSession 09-06-2012 12:20 PM

Check out this article, "A bimini that uses the sun it blocks" - French innovators attach photovoltaic panels to Sunbrella fabric to produce direct current power for boats - we'll see what they build this winter for him?

cadunkle 09-06-2012 12:57 PM

I guess I still don't get it. A ridiculously expensive novelty that nobody else wants. If I run into him I'll laugh as I fly by in my big block power boat... Kind of like I laugh when I fly by electric cars and subcompact hybrids in my big block powered car or my big block powered truck. Whatever, at least it keeps jobs for people at Epic, so that's a good thing. I did think of one other positive, if it were a real wake boat... Built in lead ballast from all the batteries. How much does it weigh?

If it were cost effective to operate for 10+ years (past battery replacement) it might make sense for private ski lakes or wakeboard schools on private lakes, etc.

iShredSAN 09-06-2012 1:50 PM

Just to add to the whole electric wakeboard boat topic- Nautique actually unveiled the new Super Air 230 E yesterday, after introducing the ski version earlier in 2012. I am also curious about the battery weight issue and how long the 230 will run for slammed with weight and cruising at riding speed for extended periods of time. I guess we will find out in the future... The first link below is pics and an article of the 230 and the second is a video about the ski version.

http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/n...=image_gallery

http://www.nautique.com/videos/index...ctric-nautique

wakebordr11 09-06-2012 2:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cadunkle (Post 1781167)
I guess I still don't get it. A ridiculously expensive novelty that nobody else wants. If I run into him I'll laugh as I fly by in my big block power boat... Kind of like I laugh when I fly by electric cars and subcompact hybrids in my big block powered car or my big block powered truck. Whatever, at least it keeps jobs for people at Epic, so that's a good thing. I did think of one other positive, if it were a real wake boat... Built in lead ballast from all the batteries. How much does it weigh?

If it were cost effective to operate for 10+ years (past battery replacement) it might make sense for private ski lakes or wakeboard schools on private lakes, etc.

Its an IO - not made for wakeboarding. It was previously mentioned it weighs like 5500. You like your big blocks he likes his electric power, nobody else has one of those electric boats, people in VT love that stuff.

I say don't tell me how to spend my money, and I won't tell you how to spend yours. Kind of like saying "you're wasting money with that inefficient 454 in your boat, I pull more weight and get better mileage in my fuel injected small block, and I go faster and accelerate harder" who cares

pprior 09-06-2012 5:42 PM

Exactly - don't hate on the way others choose to spend their money. It's clearly not saving money to buy an electric boat, it's cool, it's unique, and as I said it sounds super sweet to not have the loud engine noise. If I was rich, I'd buy one in a heartbeat. Unfortunately I'm not....

cadunkle 09-06-2012 8:32 PM

I'm not hating on it. Rich dude wants to spend his money on a novelty that serves no practical purpose, it's his money and it keeps Americans employed. I buy what I like, you buy what you like. I could say your small block doesn't have as high a top speed and burns the same GPH as my big block, and probably cost tens of thousand more. Doesn't matter to me though, different strokes for different folks.

I'm just trying to understand the point, where Epic is trying to go with this. One off $$$ boats isn't gonna keep the money coming in year after year for a boat manufacturer. Unless you get some mainstream adoption, why bother with the one off boats unless you're deal is specialty novelty boats? Doesn't seem like a sound business strategy unless they thing they'll sell more than a couple of them.

A 5500 lbs small boat, great if it's a wake boat as the weight isn't a bad thing in that application. For a general purpose I/O runabout... I don't see the point or appeal of a 5500 lbs 23' boat that costs a fortune and costs more per hour to run than a gas model (especially considering the 5-7 yr battery replacement), thus never paying for itself. They must be going somewheer with this or have a plan. I'm curious as to what that is.

hco 09-06-2012 10:48 PM

Well from the way I see it Epic as a company enjoys innovating and the owner loves developing new projects and toys, so I don't think his companies goal is to take over the inboard market with conventional looking and performing boats. Good for them for chasing their passion for innovation.

grant_west 09-06-2012 10:54 PM

Cadunkle: it's interesting that you bring up the question" Where is Epic going with this boat? "
I hate to keep on bringing up Tesla but I went to a seminar where a guy from Tesla Motors spoke. He said that Tesla's business model was to come out of the gate with a high end product First. The tesla roadster is a $130k 2 Seater all electric car. They said that they made great profit from the $130 k roadster. They said the profit that they made from the roadster is what set them up to produce the much cheeper mass produced 4 Seater Tesla I think they are calling it the tesla "S". He said there is not much profit in a 30 thousand dollar car. But in a $130 dollar car that's a diffrent story.
So Mabey that's the plan come out with a high end unique product like this that gets lots of attention and has a high profit margin to build the company so that they can afford to produce a less expencieve more mass produced product. I don't know that's just a guess. I think it's cool if I had the money I would be in the market for somthing unique like this

ilikebeaverandboats 09-06-2012 11:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cadunkle (Post 1781268)
I'm not hating on it. Rich dude wants to spend his money on a novelty that serves no practical purpose, it's his money and it keeps Americans employed. I buy what I like, you buy what you like. I could say your small block doesn't have as high a top speed and burns the same GPH as my big block, and probably cost tens of thousand more. Doesn't matter to me though, different strokes for different folks.

I'm just trying to understand the point, where Epic is trying to go with this. One off $$$ boats isn't gonna keep the money coming in year after year for a boat manufacturer. Unless you get some mainstream adoption, why bother with the one off boats unless you're deal is specialty novelty boats? Doesn't seem like a sound business strategy unless they thing they'll sell more than a couple of them.

A 5500 lbs small boat, great if it's a wake boat as the weight isn't a bad thing in that application. For a general purpose I/O runabout... I don't see the point or appeal of a 5500 lbs 23' boat that costs a fortune and costs more per hour to run than a gas model (especially considering the 5-7 yr battery replacement), thus never paying for itself. They must be going somewheer with this or have a plan. I'm curious as to what that is.

Dude, if no one ever tried anything different we would still be living in caves. Give them credit for what they are trying to do. Would you rather them just stick there heads in a bucket and ignore any and all technological improvements? Batteries are getting better and will continue to get better. I am not saying electric is the way, it certainly is no better for the environment than combustion engines...but as the torque lover that I know you are, yea i know you like cummins ;) think about what electric motors mean.... TORQUE. Which has been the main pushing argument for diesels in every thread on WW.

Think of the guy who lives on the water, his boat stays on the lift, each day he gets out for an hour set. This would totally be in his ballpark. For the guy spending all day on the water, i would still rather have a combustion engine. But with this in mind, their definitely is a market for this bad boy.

wakebordr11 09-07-2012 12:52 AM

Cory D, if you could see your posts from the outside... You actually are hating on it... Where is Epic going with this? Well, they identified a new market segment in the boating world and they are grabbing market share with new innovative products. I've seen you talk down the 'improvements' that have been made to the SBC heads through the years. Well, this is also another option to get away from the old dinosaur, a big bitchin option.

This market has a high growth potential since it is so new and grabbing market share and nailing down a proven innovative product at this point in the game is positioning them for success, to be ahead of the curve - kind of like Toyota Prius, that car is the industry standard for hybrids IMHO

I'm betting you bought your boat used, I bet I could find a used inboard with EFI for a similar price... And beat your boat in the aforementioned categories ;-)

cadunkle 09-07-2012 9:27 AM

Yeah, it's neat, I'll give it that. It's not practical though. Anything from a $30k Standard to a $100k Nautique is still practical... Just one has more bling and novelty items. Both accomplish the same tasks and are very versatile. For the guy with lives on the water with a nice boathouse or lift, it might make sense... If it is cheaper than a gas (or diesel, which will eventually get greater adoption) to operate, including battery replacement every 5-7 years (figure at least one in the original owners time with the boat). I don't think many rich people are dumb with their money, they didn't get rich by wasting it on things that don't make financial sense. A $150k boat that costs more per hour and can do less than a $100k boat (or even a $30k boat if you don't care about luxury) just doesn't make sense and I highly doubt many of the uber wealthy will be buying something like this. Maybe if you're talking liberal California types who think burning a crapload of coal tens or hundreds of miles away is cleaner than burning gas an a modern efficient internal combustion engine with catalytic converters, it might be a way for them to think they're better than everyone else while really just wasting money and polluting the same or more.

I mean, maybe if you live on one of those small lakes or ponds that only allows electric powered boats (would be amusing, I think)... But they'd probably quickly regulate it further to include a length restriction or no wake restriction. If they can make TCO over a decade to be less than a similar gas powered boat, it might make sense for the well to do working man who lives on the water. That would seem like a decent target that could push enough volume to be sustainable. I don't see TCO ever being less than a gas boat and performance will not compare, lugging all those batteries around. Impractical novelties for the ultra rich aren't going to sell many per year, if any.

cadunkle 09-07-2012 9:59 AM

Delta, call it hating if you want, or anything else for that matter. I just don't see the point or the marketability. I doubt Epic recouped all the R&D cost, tooling, molds, etc. of designing this thing on just selling one.

SBC head miprovements are there, look at the power per cubic inch while retaining good low RPM driveability with Vortec head motors vs earlier head designs. There's more potential in those castings. A different head doesn't make a new engine though. It's just a bolt on performance improvement, not a new engine design. The SBC today is the same basic engine as when it was released in the '50s. Look at new head designs for any engine, they're better than the first heads used on those engines but it doesn't mean it's a different engine.

I just don't see the market for this kind of product, all the weight will hurt any efficiency. More weight in a boat affects fuel consumption a lot more than more weight in a car. The hybrid Epic 23e seemed like a good idea that might go somewhere. The selling point, as I understand it, is greatly improved efficiency and of course greatly reduced fuel consumption... Hence lower operating cost per hour. There's an expensive boat that could pay for itself and over a period of ownership end up costing less than the big block gas powered Epic 23v. It makes sense to pursue that design. Heck, diesel-electrics are used in rail transport for their efficiency. It is already practical and proven in other applications.

As for finding a used inboard with EFI for a similar price... I don't see any with EFI for the same or lower price as I paid for mine, the closest I see on CL or onlyinboards is listed for more and a 19' closed bow. Trying finding a 23' open bow at that price. With a small block, GPH will be similar under similar load, and top speed will be lower.

volzalum 09-07-2012 5:57 PM

After expense of purchase, why do you think it costs more per hour to operate? It says a six hour charge for 6-8 hours run time charging at 220 volts. For a gas engine, that would be 6 hours at 6 gallons per hour for 36 gallons, at 3.65 per gallon that is 131.40. The electric boat is not going to cost that much per day to charge. Most people don't even own their boat 7 years. You will also have other maintenance on the gas boat that will not be required on the electric, etc. now if they get the electric motors to connect directly to the prop shaft and do away with he other equipment, that would be innovation.

11-15-2012 9:51 PM

greg, thanks for starting this post and im glad to see that someone is for all the amazing work that chris anthony and his team has done. and also, glad that someone bought the fully electric boat ... Someone needed to get the ball rolling


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