Thanks to the groundbreaking developments in the field new manufacturing techniques, computer aided design, tough but lightweight materials and high performance electric motors, making eco-friendly cars and boats is no longer a dream for sci-fi writers. Just last week, the Internautica exhibition held in Slovenia witnessed the unveiling of the Quadrofoil, a "sports car for the water" created in less than six months by a trio of young Slovenian designers. The design features the exterior dynamics of a sport car with the fast-turning function laity of an electric hydrofoil that can be operated by two people.
Perfect for waters that lie atop delicate marine ecosystems, the Quadrofoil does not displace a considerable amount of water as it moves and doesn’t create a wake even when it’s at top speeds. The silent running Quadrfoil's hydrafoil reduces hull drag to near zero during forward motion and lifts a boat out of the water to add to its efficiency. The lack of aerodynamic drag and the fact that on a small part of the hydrofoils’ surface area actually comes in contact with the water, allows the vessel to create less drag and water resistance.
When approaching shore or entering a swimming area, a hydrofoil-folding mechanism allows the Quadrofoil to adjust its legs in either manual or electric mode. Even if the vessel is turning a tight corner, its design allows staying upright which makes it virtually unsinkable. Measuring 10 feet (3 m) in length and weighing 150 kg, the Quadrofoil is easy to transport and runs on an electric 3.7 kW motor that gives it a range of 62 miles (100km) and a top speed 25 mph. thanks to a Kevlar and carbon fiber body, the 4.5 kWh lithium batteries built into the Quadrofoil are sufficient to give it a good travelling range and the battery pack can be recharged via included flexible solar panels or a domestic powerpoint in less than 60 minutes.
Since the category of watercraft that Quadrofoil belongs to does not require a navigation permit, insurance, PWC license or registration in the EU, the vessel can be operated by almost anyone. The company is planning on introducing a limited, 100 unit production run of the Quadrofoil by the end of 2012 though it intends to retail 10,000 units a year starting next year with each unit being sold for US$19,100 (EUR15,000) though you’d have to pay US$6,370 (EUR5000) to get yourself on an early bird waiting list.