Among James Bond fans, the letter “Q” is a staple. The legendary fictional member of the British secret service MI6 equips the agent, who can also sail, with famous gadgets. Now, when a new engine concept called QDrive is presented, the parallel is obvious.
Especially since the system runs as fast as it does quietly: As a powerful electric propulsion system, QDrive would fit ideally for command operations in Her Majesty’s service. But in principle, it is suitable for planning motor yachts between eight and 30 meters in length, says Michael Jost. He is the founder of the startup eD-Tec, which developed QDrive.
The first boat for the new propulsion system is said to be the Silent Speed 28, which we first heard about in Cannes in September. The Speed 28 was one of the most surprising announcements at the Cannes Yachting Festival. After all, why is the Austrian brand Silent Yachts, known for large electric cruising catamarans, presenting an 8-meter RIB?
Planning like Uffa Fox
At the press conference aboard Silent 60, company founder Michael Köhler talked about the new carbon RIB, saying that it will be “the most revolutionary boat ever built.” We hear a statement like this quite often and it always makes us a bit skeptical.
The underwater construction resembles that of the Aquila motor catamarans © Silent
The hull of Silent 28 is designed with ideas of Uffa Fox, the British inventor of the modern planning dinghy, in mind and looks almost like a trimaran below the waterline. Its shape is similar to that of Aquila motor catamarans, where the foils are used to facilitate planning. While the hull of Speed 28 is interesting but not unique, the propulsion system is truly innovative.
Michael Jost, a friend of Michael Köhler’s and his business partner, took advantage of the presentation to talk about the new eD-TEC motor system – without a boat or motor on site.
Michael Jost in his new mission at edTEC © eD-TEC
Until recently, Jost was responsible for strategic development at the Volkswagen Group, and channeled his vast experience in car electrification into the development and marketing of the world’s first electric surface drive, the eD-QDrive 1.
A sort of magic bullet
According to Jost, there are far more parallels to the James Bonds than just the letter Q: “Our eD-QDrive is like magic because everything is integrated and everything is simple, making installation, maintenance and overhaul just as easy for boat builders.” A sort of magic bullet, then, Q would be delighted.
This self-confidence is also reminiscent of the legendary Brit in the white tux: while many in the industry have been improving efficiency by a few percentage points with each new generation for years, eD-Tec claims to be the coming game-changer.
This scalable system includes a electric motor of 100 kW continuous power, comparable with the Deep Blue motor from Torqeedo. But let’s start from the beginning…