Company Shows Off Plug-In Hybrid ‘Ultra-Green Superyacht’

Although little more than an idea on paper right now, Sauter Carbon Offset Design has set its sights on being the first company in the world to cater to the as-yet-non-existent ultra-rich luxury green yacht crowd.

The first vessel they hope to sell will be the Transcendence, a 49 meter superyacht with a Mercedes Benz diesel powerplant hooked to a generator to provide the electricity to run the props, a lithium-ion battery system to store power from the grid when plugged in at dock, a bunch of solar cells to help provide a bit of power when out at sea, and a top speed of 25 knots. The company says the boat will have a “50 to 100% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions” when compared to its counterparts.

Does this herald in a new generation of luxury yachts, or is it simply the wish list of a company that has no chance in hell of succeeding?

Actually, I’d say it’s a bit of both. Certainly as the rich become more image conscious and realize that they have money to throw around at ‘ultra-green’ machines, this segment is sure to grow. But when I look at the laundry list of features Sauter says they’re going to include in this ship, I’m left wondering how it’s all going to come together.

For instance, the company says they’re going to include a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) on the boat, but give no explanation as to how. In my mind KERS is only really useful in situations where there is significant ability to capture wasted kinetic energy. Maybe on a sailboat’s sails, but on a powered yacht? Where? How would that work? Sauter also says their Li-ion battery UPS will be rated at 1,000 kWh. 1,000 kWh!?!? Let’s see, at $650 per kWh… hmmm… carry the 1… that’s $650,000 for the battery alone! Maybe that’s a drop in the bucket for this boat, but it seems a little outrageous, no?

And also, “carbon offset?” Really? There’s no way in hell a boat can be a carbon offset. Go plant some trees, sure. But building a gigantic luxury megayacht? Nuh-uh. I guess greenwashing has no bounds.

Source: Green Car Congress


Nick Chambers

Not your traditional car guy.