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Feb 16, 2019,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Sea Bubbles: French all-electric hydrofoil boat finds its first US buyer

French startup Sea Bubbles has just completed its first U.S. sale, with an unknown buyer snapping up 10 of its all-electric hydrofoil boats, known as Bubbles. In its continuing efforts to establish itself in the market, the company is looking to bring in partners to improve autonomy and battery charging.

French startup Sea Bubbles has sold a batch of ten of its all-electric Bubble hydrofoil boats to an unknown American buyer. Details of the deal, the first completed by the company in the USA, will be announced at the Miami International Boat Show on 14-18 February, as reported by Le Figaro.

 

A flying boat

 

The Bubble, which came into existence three years ago, glides across the surface of the water thanks to its two foils, which lend a distinctive look to a craft that has been dubbed the “Tesla of the Seas”. The environmentally friendly vehicle retails for between €150,000 and €175,000, depending on the type of battery fitted. The eye-catching boat was originally designed for use as a water taxi on the Seine, though the project has since been scrapped and will only be revived if agreement can be reached with private operators.

Sea Bubbles co-founder Alain Thébault is hopeful that the US sale will be the first of many and that dozens of Bubbles will one day navigate the waters of Miami. “Florida has no wake-zones and our Bubbles comply with that regulation to the letter,” he said.

 

Autonomy and batteries

 

In its efforts to be competitive in the marketplace, the French startup is working on technologies that will extend the autonomy of its boats and reduce battery charge times. The company is planning to work with ABB and Air Liquide with a view to possibly developing hydrogen engines, as reported by the website TomTravel

Sea Bubbles is also working with a partner on the construction of lighter docking stations and is looking for a U.S. battery supplier too. The Bubble is currently manufactured in Asia and the USA, though the production process enables only a limited number of the all-electric vehicle to be assembled. Sea Bubbles, which sells its boats but does not operate them, is hoping to address the situation and grow its customer base.

 

Allianz Partners

Cover photo credits: SeaBubbles

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