The X-Shore Eelex 8000 electric boat can be started remotely via smartwatch. It gathers 150 data points including water quality every single second. It knows if you fall overboard and sees when you lose something, and though it cruises at 35 knots or 45 mph, it can be limited to a snail’s pace when you put it in kid mode and grudgingly let your teen take it for a spin.
Plus, in an over-the-air software update coming soon, it’ll get auto-docking capability.
In short, this boat isn’t just electric. It’s the Tesla of the sea, with smarts, capabilities, and a giant touchscreen to rival the smartest land-based transportation, but on the water.
Plus, of course, with a price tag to match.
“We’re trying to … drive the transformation that you’ve seen in the automotive industry from combustion engine cars to electric cars,” X Shore CEO Jenny Keisu told me recently on the TechFirst podcast. “We’re trying to drive that in the marine segment, and we believe that in order for people to change, the product needs to be better. It needs to be a better user experience. We won’t change just because it’s more environmentally friendly.”
While there’s no shortage of electric boat startups like Pure Watercraft and ElectraCraft as well as long-time contenders such as Duffy, X Shore is doing something a little different.
The Eelex 800 comes with a 24-inch touchscreen display reminiscent of the massive screens Tesla founder Elon Musk puts into his cars. It has autopilot (sound familiar?) and gets over-the-air software updates. It has cameras that sense when luggage or equipment is lost overboard. And geofencing so your boat can’t go where you don’t want it to go, whether you’re onboard or not.
In other words, this is a boat where the software matters. Where the intelligence of the platform is a critical component of the value.
Plus, it doesn’t apologize for being electric. X Shore has a built-in 225 kW motor with a 120kWh battery that powers the boat to accelerate like a … Tesla.
“You basically need to decide whether to have your eyes open or closed because you can’t change that when you’re going full throttle,” says Keisu. “From a sort of fun, acceleration perspective, it’s amazing … basically you have an amazing torque, just going full throttle.”
Interestingly, the green doesn’t start and stop with the powertrain. The boat is made of flax, recycled bottles, cork, and reused plastic, making it a more sustainable and ecologically-friendly boat than just about any other one on the planet.
As if that’s not enough, it’s also modular and adaptable.
“We have a lot of modularity, so you can design the boat the way you like it,” Keisu says. “It comes as a just open, bare boat, and we have different modules. So you can opt for a social module, like sun beds, sofas, tables. You can also opt for diving modules, fishing modules, and you can swap. Like two people can just flip up those modules, change, and then put them back on. So you can have lots of modules if you want to, or just take them off and have lots of friends on the back.”
There is, of course, a downside: it’s not cheap.
The Eelex 8000 is $329,000 USD for hull and engines. That’s all-in, ready to go, cruise off into the sunset. But you can also buy additional modules for more flexibility and use cases.
“I would call it ‘affordable premium,’ if that makes sense,” Keisu says. “It’s turn-key ready. So most of them, when you’re trying to buy a boat you’re like, ‘Oh, this sounds great. It’s kind of expensive, but that’s okay.’ And then you have to put the outboard on, you know, the drive train doesn’t come with the boat. So we have everything is included.”
One other consolation: a conventional boat this size might cost $500-1,000 to fuel up. The X Shore boat takes $10-20 worth of electricity to power up and can do so off household current (or supercharging, if available). That’s a lot cheaper for regular use, and like most electric engines which are so much simpler than their internal combustion counterparts, maintenance is negligible.
Fully charged, it’s ready for two hours of full-throttle fun, or 20 hours of gentle cruising, getting you 100 nautical miles (115 miles, 185 km) to wherever you want to be.
It may not be cheap, but the Stockholm, Sweden based company is running flat-out to deliver on massive demand. So much demand that the company recently took a $17 million funding round to 10X current production capacity to 400 boats per year.
And government regulations are helping create the market:
“Already now in Europe, you’re seeing Amsterdam will be fully fossil-free in 2025,” Keisu says. “So already today you cannot put a combustion engine boat in Amsterdam. Norway just came out a few weeks back that the Norwegian fjords will be fully fossil-free in 2026 … and we’re seeing that there are actually cases in the U.S. where you’ve started to do this now as well. So I think that this is a transition that will be speeding up now.”
The electric boat industry is a few years behind the electric car space. But with intelligent, clean, efficient boats like this, there’s evidence of the same innovation happening on water.
Hopefully soon it will also be available at a slightly lower price point.