Despite its classic wooden construction, the Elettra makes 100% emission-free tourism possible, a critical advantage for residents and visitors to the northern Italian lake known as a backdrop to Star Wars and James Bond films, as well as for its spa towns and parks.
Swiss company Ecovolta – a division of tech business ecocoach – is technology partner for the project and was responsible for designing the yacht’s electronics as well as supplying its lithium-ion batteries and inverter.
The historic shipyard Ernesto Riva has been building exceptional wooden boats since 1771 and today is under the leadership of Daniele Riva.
The name Elettra hails back to Guglielmo Marconi’s famous research vessel, which was capable of using radio signals for navigation purposes as early as the turn of the 20th century.
The current Vaporina Elettra has two electric motors, each with a power output of 100 kW, is nearly 10 meters long and has room for 12 people on board.
“The Vaporina is one of the most traditional models manufactured by Ernesto Riva,” said the current head of the shipyard. “With the new electric drive we are prepared for the 21st century. The boat shows once again how elegant, uncompromisingly sustainable and safe maritime e-mobility can be in this day and age.”
Last year, the shipyard presented its innovative e-Commuter, which is also fully electric.
Both projects were implemented in collaboration with ecovolta. The ecovolta lithium-ion batteries used in the Elettra provide a total capacity of 180 kWh and enable five hours of autonomous operation at a speed of 13 knots.
Thanks to a high energy density of 480 Wh per liter, the batteries offer high capacity without taking up too much space.
The ecovolta safety concept uses cell junctions made of nickel-electroplated cold strips which automatically cut off damaged battery cells from the rest of the mechanism, preventing fires and allowing the battery to remain functional even when cells malfunction.
Ecovolta CEO Pirmin Reichmuth said: “The Elettra is a perfect picture of the marriage of Swiss technology and Italian design. Just like electric lorries, vans and motorcycles already running on our batteries, the Elettra combines smart engineering with performance and sustainability.”