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Alfastreet boats combine electric power with innovative hydraulic roof

By

February 18, 2014

Alfastreet hits the water

Alfastreet hits the water

Image Gallery (22 images)

At last month's Boot Dusseldorf show, we learned two things about electric boats. One, there aren't that many of them, and two, those that are available tend to be on the small side – as evidenced by day cruisers like the Joyboat and Superiore Uno. The latter point was true save for one exception: the 23-foot (6.9 m) long Energy 23cs from Slovenia's Alfastreet Marine. The 23cs is an (optionally) electric boat with sleeping quarters, plus a few other tricks up its sleeve.

The Energy 23 debuted at the 2013 Boot Dusseldorf show, but last month's show was the first time we'd seen it. The boat isn't solely an electric, instead offering a thorough list of drive options, with 10.5- and 14-hp electric systems among them. The 48-volt electric motors from Aquamot pair with a standard 12-kWh AGM battery pack (24 kWh available as an option) plus charger.

“We see that a lot of European countries are aware of the environmental pollution and some of them already adopted laws concerning the electric use on the lakes, rivers and channels," Alfastreet CEO Tjaša Luin Peric explained at last year's debut. "Due [to] the situation, most of the boat owners are forced to change the engines or the vessels and they are looking for suitable products. We believe that with our range of products we can satisfy this market and contribute to environment and nature."

The Alfastreet 23 debuted last year

As the output numbers suggest, the electric motor options aren't going to power bay-slicing speed races or wanderlustful explorations. Instead, they'll be most suitable for quiet, emissions-free rides around the lake or bay. When outfitted with the optional 24-kWh battery pack, the 23cs can travel up to 60 nautical miles (100 km) per charge at speeds of 3 to 4 knots (5 to 7.5 km/h), according to Alfastreet's materials. When boating at the maximum listed cruising speed of 6 knots, that range is cut down to 37 NM/70 km.

Those that want more power and range don't have to look far to find it. The 23cs is a built-to-order custom boat and offers a deep list of power options. It can be outfitted with a variety of gas and diesel engines, ranging between 170- and 250-hp, along with a STEYR hybrid drive. Buyers can also request engine options not specifically listed by Alfastreet.

Alfastreet lists cruising speeds up to 8 knots (14 km/h) for the gas and diesel models with displacement hull. Those models can venture out much farther than their electric counterparts, traveling up to 250 NM (450 km) per 150-liter tank of fuel. Alfastreet also offers the option of a planing hull on gas and diesel models, shooting top speed up to 40 knots (75 km/h) while keeping range steady at 250 NM, at speeds around 22 to 26 knots (40 to 50km/h).

The Alfastreet 23cs's hard top automatically lowers, acting as an integrated cover

The innovation that attracted us to the 23cs in Dusseldorf wasn't its electric powertrain, which we came to learn about a little later, but its hydraulic hard roof. The roof provides weather protection for the cockpit without the need for the typical tonneau cover. At the touch of a remote control, it's lowered down to cover over the open cockpit, serving as a rain cover and security measure. This was a popular feature among button-happy show attendees. A similar hydraulic system lifts the small roof of the cabin bedroom, providing ventilation inside.

Alfastreet's sliding roof allows for repositioning of the roof in relation to the sun

Alfastreet also offers a sliding boat roof that adjusts to the left or the right, allowing occupants to shade themselves from the changing sun position.

On board, the 23cs holds up to eight passengers and includes a fully upholstered cabin with dual seating and table that transforms into a double bed. Those that don't intend to sleep on the boat can also order the open version with a simple saloon in place of the sleeping quarters. Other amenities include a galley with stove and sink (refrigerator optional), LED lighting, an available toilet and a 100-liter fresh water tank. Alfastreet offers many other options as well.

As a custom boat, the 23cs's price ranges dramatically. The 10.5-hp electric model is the cheapest of the bunch, starting at €53,100 (US$73,000). Fuel versions start at €54,100 for a model equipped with a 220-hp Mercruiser gas engine and rise up to around €70K for diesel-equipped models. The sole hybrid model is the most expensive of the lot, starting at €91,657.

Alfastreet also offers the smaller Energy 18, which was around before the 23. That model offers a broader range of electric powertrain options, along with gas and diesel options. Prices start at €21,250.

The video below gives a tour of the 23cs and shows a little on-water action.

Source: Alfastreet Marine

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
7 Comments

“We see that a lot of European countries are aware of the environmental pollution and some of them already adopted laws concerning the electric use on the lakes, rivers and channels,"

That explains why such an expensive and limited propulsion system is hitting the mainstream market.

Slowburn
18th February, 2014 @ 11:59 pm PST

@Slowburn

True. But there again some of us in the global community actually care about our children's and grandchildren's future.

Mel Tisdale
19th February, 2014 @ 03:57 am PST

I'd say that about 80% of the fishing boats in my area are electric powered. It's called a trolling motor and has been in use for many years.

Bob
19th February, 2014 @ 05:56 am PST

Electric river boat would be something I would like to live in.

That sort of hydraulic roof would allow going under low bridges on high tide.

Inspiring article.

Kääriäinen Heikki Haykey
19th February, 2014 @ 01:27 pm PST

What I didn't read in the article was the availability of a gas/diesel engine/generator to charge the battery pack when no shoreline was available. It could also be used to extend the range of the pure-battery mode. Diesel-electric drive has been around a long time for locomotives and should be seen as an option for boats and cars. Better yet, a bank of two or more small, low-polution engines running generators would give the options of charging batteries and moving the boat at the same time much like diesel-electric submarines do. Boats would be a great way to pioneer this use as they usually don't have to maintain a specific speed like vehicles do in traffic.

History Nut
19th February, 2014 @ 05:31 pm PST

@ Mel Tisdale

There is no evidence that electric propulsion is better for the environment than other systems.

Not having drunk the electric cool-aid does not mean anti environment. The mining and refining of the rare earth elements necessary for electric propulsion is an environmental disaster.

Slowburn
20th February, 2014 @ 01:37 am PST

There is neither evidence (much less hope) that Slowburn will ever wake up from his delusional state of denial. Electric propulsion does not require environmentally damaging rare earth exploitation. Greed however does.

Last year I helped overhauling an electric boat (or rather ship for 45 passengers) equipped with the original (lead) battery banks and Siemens motor. The boat was made in 1958 and still works perfect (el. charging is taken care of by hydropower). No rare earth there. How many toxins would an ICE driven vessel have spewed into the environment since then?

Please restrain yourself from those hair-brained "government subsidies for el. vehicles" - for every sane person knows that the greatest but not exclusive "subsidies" are the cost in life (and taxes) from energy (and material) resource wars.

Niko
27th February, 2014 @ 11:26 am PST
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