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The future of boating goes all-electric

The future of boating goes all-electric
The future of boating goes all-electric 02:38

With spring break in full swing and warm weather finally descending upon the country, Southland residents are flocking to all their local haunts, including their favorite beaches. 

Thousands of people are expected to hit the water in coming days to catch up on missed time and participate in some of their favorite hobbies after finally receiving a reprieve from a constant deluge of powerful winter storms.

One past time facing a serious overhaul is boating, which like their counterparts on the road, are looking at an all electric future.

Andrew Hard, the owner of Freedom Boat Clubs throughout Southern California, says that in recent years electric boats have been far and away the most popular choice. 

On top of that, but maintaining the engines is much easier than their gas-powered equivalent. 

"A gas engine is gonna have a lot of moving parts," Hard said. "We do a lot of maintenance on those boats. These are the easiest boats we have to maintain."

The boats are powered by the same type of batteries that would be equipped on a standard golf cart. While they aren't flashy, or necessarily fast, this new fad is expected to be the precursor for the future of boating. 

"Just like the auto industry is going electric, the marine industry is also moving toward sustainable technology," says Mike Caudill, a national transportation expert. 

Caudill notes that more high-powered boats are already under production and being used every day. 

"The X Shore is roughly looking at 100 nautical miles of range, so you can get decent range on those top of speeds at 45 miles per hour cruising speed," he said. 

The Miami International Boat Show featured an entire pavilion dedicated to the the new craze, the first noted instance of this in the U.S. 

"These boats are incredible. They're fun to drive, they're packed with performance," Caudill said.

As development continues and companies look to expand their product to the public, two corporations lead the charge — Sweden's Candela and the United State's own Navier. They're both aiming to bring electric-powered hydrofoil speedboats to city water ways in hopes of replacing water taxis. 

"It's like 10 times cheaper than using a gas boat," said Sampriti Bhattacharyya, the CEO of Navier. "You can use it as a scalable waterborne transportation."

While still in the early stages, Hard is hoping that he'll be able to add an electric speedboat to his fleet in the future, but only when they become a little more cost efficient — currently running more than $300,000.

"I think as technology gets better, you're gonna see more and more of it," Hard said. "Every day a boat goes out and comes back to the same place, which could be its charging station."

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