EV startup Genevo Marine set to build Australia’s first electric performance boat

EV startup Genevo Marine set to build Australia’s first electric performance boat

Genevo Marine founders Damon Rahmate and Andrew Davey

Renewable energy and solar industry entrepreneurs Damon Rahmate and Andrew Davey are taking their ‘green’ mission to the water with a new startup that aims to this year produce Australia’s first high-performance electric motor yacht.

The business partners, who through Genevo Renewables have been delivering solar energy storage systems for commercial clients over the past decade, have leveraged their experience in the marine industry to establish Genevo Marine as a pioneer in electric boat manufacturing in Australia.

Genevo Marine has partnered with Gold Coast custom boatbuilder and composite specialist Mahi Boats, led by Dan Williams, to produce its first model – an 8.2-metre luxury motor yacht known as the E8.

The company is also exploring plans to create a charging network for its electric boats to support the EV revolution on water that is already emerging overseas.

Rahmate tells Business News Australia that Tweed Coast-based Genevo Marine is also planning to enhance the sustainability of the boat construction sector by using a proprietary recycled composite it is developing with the support of Deakin University in Melbourne.

“There’s better technology available now and much better ways to make boats,” says Rahmate.

“We’re old greenies at heart. It’s one thing to make an electric boat out of composites which are notoriously dirty and non-recyclable but from the outset we made sure that that process is sustainable, so very early on we had discussions with composite engineers both here and abroad.

“Going back three years ago, there were some developments in recycled carbon fibre and it’s come a long way since then.

“Now we are working with Deakin University on some proprietary recycled carbon fibre and we’re mixing in some secret sauce to bring it up to similar strength to virgin carbon fibre.”

The technology is expected deliver one tenth of the carbon footprint of conventional manufacturing.

“Our objective is to develop and manufacture an Australian boat for our conditions that will have the least impact on the marine environment,” says Rahmate.

“We are both boaties and surfers and want to ensure the oceans, bays and rivers are healthy for our kids and future generations.

“We’re obviously doing it for altruistic reasons, but we are also aiming for overseas markets and Europe has already started to implement legislation for manufacturers in regard to heir manufacturing processes being sustainable.”

Concept design of the new Genevo Marine E8 high-performance electric boat

 

The northern NSW-based entrepreneurs have a long history in boating as well as the renewable energy sector. Davey worked for Azzura Marine, starting out as an apprentice boatbuilder before moving into the solar energy market.

“I have also very much grown up around boats,” says Rahmate.

“My uncle, John Griffin, was one of Australia’s more recognised boatbuilders who built one of the first America’s Cup boats in the 1960s.”

Genevo Marine is currently undertaking a seed investment round to fast-track construction of its protype which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

“We have a very detailed model of how we will scale up and that’s why we are partnering with Dan (Mahi Boats) who is very capable and very experienced with composites to build the tooling, the moulds and the first run of boats,” says Rahmate.

“We’ll have our prototype finished by the end of the year and sea testing will be done late this year or early next year. Then we will realistically have boats to the market mid next year.”

Genevo Marine anticipates the E8, which was designed by award-winning superyacht designer Misha Merzliakov, to sell for about $480,000, roughly equivalent to conventional petrol sports boats of its size.

“Designing an electric boat entails some deep consideration and analysis around hull efficiencies and weight distribution,” says Rahmate.

“The E8’s meticulous design process, high performance electric drive train and high energy density battery pack will ensure a generous range of around 50 nautical miles at 25 knots or in excess of 100 at cruising speeds.”

Davey notes that the E8 design has been engineered for optimum efficiency and range.

“While we’ve engineered a considerable amount into the overall efficiency, concerns around range anxiety are countered with the fact that the average recreational boat user travels 10km or less in each trip,” he says.

“The E8 model will be capable of covering approximately 10 times this distance at top speed.”

Capable of comfortably carrying eight passengers, the 400kW electric drive train and 132kWh lithium-ion battery is aimed at delivering high speed with minimal running and maintenance costs.

Genevo Marine plans to support a proposed future range of electric boats include a fast-charging network that it plans to operate as a business arm of its electric boat manufacturing operations.

“Our charging technology has the capability to satisfy fast charging to both electric boats and EV’s and our technology partner is the world leader in dockside chargers,” says Rahmate.

“The satellite fast-charge pedestals offer a distinct advantage for dock side chargers over other manufacturers, being slimline, compact and proven in harsh marine environments. They are also more easily scaled up in dockside environments, which will be important as the number of electric vessels on the water increases.”

Rahmate says Genevo Marine will be unique in terms of acting as its own hardware service partner and installer.

“It’s vitally important that we own and service our own network and minimise the downtime delays that has dogged some of the EV charging networks,” he says.

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