BMW has debuted “the first battery-powered marine craft of its kind” — a zero-emissions 43-foot electric yacht.
As the 76th Cannes Film Festival buzzes with premieres, an exciting debut took place away from the limelight, at the heart of the southern French town’s harbor.
BMW, in partnership with boat manufacturer Tyde, unveiled The Icon — a revolutionary embodiment of sustainable luxury aquatic mobility. The Icon represents an innovative breakthrough as the maiden fully electric watercraft in its class, merging the elegance of emission-free travel with the epitome of luxury.
A pioneer in its class, The Icon is a 43.14 feet long electric watercraft, poised to redefine the paradigm of electric maritime mobility. This ambitious project is a testament to the comprehensive collaboration between BMW, Tyde, and Designworks – a BMW Group company with international studios.
Tyde assumed the responsibility of assembling the watercraft, drawing on high-voltage batteries from BMWi for its powerful electric propulsion system. Adding to the luxurious maritime experience is an exclusive soundtrack by Hans Zimmer, a celebrated film composer and BMW’s recurrent collaborator.
The Icon’s innovative electric drive system propels it into a league of its own. To date, electric-powered boats have largely been confined to smaller, slower vessels with limited range. The faster, long-range category has been predominantly powered by combustion engines. The Icon disrupts this status quo, bringing a new dimension to the performance and range of battery-powered boats.
A game-changing feature is the use of hydrofoils, a technology borrowed from yacht racing. This advanced hull design slashes energy consumption by up to 80 percent compared to traditional forms. Moreover, by enabling the watercraft to glide on wing-like structures beneath the water while the hull hovers above the water’s surface, it ensures enhanced comfort and speed.
A duo of 100kW electric motors channel energy from six BMW i batteries totaling 240kWh, providing over 50 nautical miles (approximately 100 km) of range. Operating comfortably at 24 knots, the craft can hit a peak speed of 30 knots.
The Icon achieves virtually silent operation, thanks to its innovative propulsion system and hydrofoil technology, with minimal vibrations, shocks, and wake.
For those seeking auditory stimulation, The Icon comes equipped with an onboard Dolby Atmos system, producing an immersive sound experience. Zimmer created a unique drive system sound to help introduce a new age in aquatic travel enjoyment.
Translating the vision of The Icon into reality, the design team crafted an immersive experience, from its eye-catching exterior to the internal vistas. The unique, prism-like transparent architecture expands to a width of 14.7 feet at the rear, enabling a spacious entrance to the lounge. The lightweight hull ensures a smooth voyage, with passengers enjoying water views through large glass surfaces, embellished with signature LED light strips at the front, back, and charging points across the vessel.
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