Silent targets 60 knots with Speed 28
The Austrian-owned builder of solar-electric catamarans enters a new sector with the Speed 28, with drivetrain technology supplied by eD-TEC.
Silent is developing the Speed 28, which is expected to top 60 knots, leading the Austrian-owned company to say the 8.6m carbon-fibre RIB will “rocket straight to the top of the list of the fastest electric production boats” when launched later this year. Featuring flexible seating for up to 10 people, the Speed 28 has been earmarked as a superyacht tender or ‘a fun boat that can be easily trailered’.
The Speed 28 is planned to be the first in a line of performance boats from Silent in partnership with eD-TEC, which is headed by Michael Jost, a member of the Silent Advisory Board. The founder and CEO of eD-TEC, Jost is the former Head of Group Strategy Product and Chief Strategy Officer of Volkswagen Group, and oversaw the company’s expansive electrification plan.
The Speed 28 is fitted with twin 100kW eD-QDrive electric motors, which are expected to give the RIB a top speed of 60-plus knots for short bursts and a range of 70 miles at a cruising speed of 30 knots while operating in virtual silence. The boat features embedded solar cells on the hardtop that generate up to 704W of power, while its lithium-ion batteries (LiFePO4) store around 100kWh of energy.
Michael Köhler, founder and CEO of Silent Group, said: “With 18 years of experience in designing and building solar-powered catamarans, we were hungry to push the boundaries again. Our know-how combined with Michael Jost and his team, coupled with continuing technological advances, have made it possible to develop a model line that combines spectacular performance with impressive range.”
The Speed 28 marks the start of a strategic partnership between the Silent Group and eD-TEC, which the companies say is a ‘technological alliance that will take electric mobility on the water to a new level’.
The boat’s systems and components are interlinked to the AI Box via CAN bus, which tunes the vessel and increases performance and range, making constant adjustments to reduce roll and pitch. The vessel is controlled through a specially designed eD-Platform user interface, which puts key information and functions at the operator’s fingertips.
The eD-TEC drivetrain includes three foils: a fixed one forward that links the two narrow hulls, and two moveable aft foils that point inwards from hull insides. A broad, blunt bow above the waterline provides buoyancy and disperses spray, while a rigid hardtop sits atop narrow pillars framing the windscreen and a Y-shaped support aft.
The onboard charger can handle 150kW DC, which fully recharges the battery in around 40 minutes, while AC charging is possible at up to 22kW. From a Silent yacht, the battery of the Speed 28 can be recharged with the 22.5kW DC wallbox from 30 per cent to 80 per cent in two hours. A standard three-phase charger could do the same job in about four hours, according to Silent, although port infrastructure varies.