A serious contender in the emerging electric boat market is ready to show its cards.
With electric boats finally heading to market, one of the leading candidates -- Blue Innovations Group, a Florida-based startup with a Silicon Valley acumen -- will release the highly-anticipated R30 in December in Florida.
BIG was founded by former Tesla executive Chuan "John" Vo, who has worked in the semiconductor, aerospace, solar, and electric vehicle industries, not to mention he brings extensive experience with R&D, product development, manufacturing.
The company first announced the R30 in early 2023 -- proclaiming that the huge center console (30'/9.14 m LOA with 10'/3 m beam) would offer some of the best battery performance in the burgeoning electric market. It will also be one of the largest recreational electric boats to hit the market.
Now the company has announced the first public showing of the R30 on Saturday, December 16th in St. Petersburg, Florida.
"We are thrilled to launch the R30 in St. Petersburg, Florida, a community that has embraced our mission from the very beginning. The R30 is a testament to American innovation and the cutting-edge technologies emerging from the State of Florida," said Vo in a press release.
Customers will have the opportunity to reserve an R30 for $1,000 with a “Blue Reservation” which provides customers with standard delivery, and $5,000 for a “BIG Reservation” which provides access to one of the first 100 boats. BIG will begin R30 deliveries in Q3 2024.
The key to the R30's impressive range and performance comes via a 'dual motor powertrain' developed by Vo that generates a massive 800 horsepower (600 kW).
BIG's other unique feature is the use of Lithium ion Phosphate (LFP) batteries instead of the more common NMC (Nickel, Manganese, Cobalt), Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (NCA), or Lithium ion (Li) options. The batteries allow the R30 to house a dual-engine 221 kWh battery pack producing up to 600 kW of power. Her other key feature is that the batteries are stored within structurally integrated banks moulded into the hull framework, as opposed to using up valuable storage/social space on the deck.
The launch of the R30 will put it alongside several electric boats from start-up companies rushing to hit the market. It will also be among the largest recreational electric boats availabl. Smaller options include the celebrity-backed Arc One and the Pure Watercraft pontoon -- a boat designed in partnership with General Motors. Other boats already available for purchase include Sweden's X-Shore and hydrofoiling company Candela. Several other designs from major manufacturers are also forthcoming, including new e-boats from Four Winns, DeAntonio, and Riva.
Standout features on the R30 include seating for up to 12 passengers and a runtime of up to 8 hours -- figures no other recreational electric boat currently offers. It will also carry a top speed of 45 mph (72 km/h) and can recharge up to 80% in only 45 minutes using a matching BIG Fast Charger. It can charge up to 80% overnight on standard marina shore power.
Other perks include a bathroom with bidet, a kitchenette, refrigerator, AC, a safe box, a full cabin for overnighting, and an 'ocean lounge' created by fold-downing down the sidewalls on the stern deck. In terms of tech, the R30 also has a solar canopy on the center console producing 2.7 kW, a 360-degree camera system for maneuvering, chart plotter, and an integrated media system at the helm with over-the-air software updates.