Belgian startup building fast electric speedboats
A growing number of lakes and rivers prohibit the use of combustion engines in leisure boats. The Belgian Liso Yacht anticipates this trend by building luxury electric pleasure boats, capable of reaching speeds up to 100 kph on the water.
“We are the Tesla of the boats,” says Dirk De Munter, the founder of Liso Yacht. “Electric pleasure boats, there’s a future in it. Countries such as Switzerland, Sweden and Germany are taking steps to ban diesel and petrol engines on lakes and rivers. You see the same evolution in boating as in the car sector.”
First real electric speedboat
De Munter prides himself on bringing the first “real” electric speedboat to the market, with an optimized design. “Not like existing classic boats where an electric motor and a battery are inserted. They only reach just 20 kph and have little autonomy. We are the first ones, just as Tesla was the first with a real performing electric car.”
“We work with very lightweight composite materials, which is necessary to be able to sail a whole day with one battery. You can’t find loading poles on the shore,” laughs De Munter.
Start-up Liso Yachts is a two-man shop – De Munter and his son – with a studio in Lovendegem, East Flanders. “We can currently handle up to 25 boats a year. It would be nice to get five to ten orders in the first year. That would be enough to build on our own strength.”
De Munter gave up his job as seller of the German battery brand Varta for the adventure. As a hobby, he used to restore luxurious wooden boats from Italian boat builder Riva for 14 years. Then he decided to design a boat himself and build it from scratch. It took him two years to make a first copy, all handwork, with a top speed of almost 100 kph.
Liso Yachts will launch three electric models next year, with prices that vary between 100.000 and 150.000 euro. Before the summer De Munter hopes to stunt by crossing the Channel at record speed. In the autumn then follows the big premiere at Cannes International Yachting Show, one of the major boating events in the world.