Has the Age of Electric Water Vehicles Finally Arrived?
EV Water Car?
Have you ever wished you could drive over water? Water cars, or amphibious vehicles, have a long history. Attempts at making floating carriages go back at least to the 1700’s. In the 1960s, then President Lyndon B. Johnson famously owned an “Amphicar” he would use to prank visitors to his ranch by driving into the water while yelling that the brakes had given out.
As long as we have had ground vehicles, we have had the dream of making them float. Who wouldn’t want a seamless transition between land and water?
Seamless Transition Between Land and Sea
The company WaterCar aims to redefine the aquatic vehicle game with the new WaterCar-EV, a street-legal 5-seater, 15-foot boat/car hybrid designed to tackle both environments with ease. WaterCar claims that the transition from land to water as “Push Button Seamless Transition Between Land & Water.”
The WaterCar-EV boasts retractable wheels, an advanced planing hull design, and a sun canopy that doubles as a grab rail for entering and exiting. The tires are off-road and designed to drive on hard-packed sand and dirt (no mention of driving on soft sand, so use caution, but they do show it driving on the beach in the video below). They also mention how lightweight it is (under 1,800 lbs), which is certainly an important factor for being a boat.
Imagine how fun it could be to drive to the lake, only to simply drive onto the water and keep going. No backing up trailers, difficult loading and unloading, or finding a parking spot. And once you’re finished on the lake, you can simply drive home – all with the convenience of an electric vehicle. They also offer a Hybrid model with a gas propeller for better water speeds and flexibility.
Flexibilities and Limitations
WaterCar seems determined to bring you the best of both land and sea. However, due to the radically different demands of each environment, finding a proper balance can prove challenging.
Modern electric technology continues to improve by leaps and bounds, but is this a practical choice at the moment?
For example, the WaterCar-EV can reach a top speed of 30 MPH on the water, but only reaches 25 MPH on land. And, while it had a range of 75 miles on the water, it only has an effective range of about 20 miles on land (although extended range options are available). This limits the WaterCar’s ability to be used as a regular land vehicle beyond perhaps a local grocery run, but excellent if you live close to the dock you use to get on the water.
The price tag is also a consideration – prices start at $125,000 and go up from there. But if you can afford it, why not enjoy the strange thrill of driving into a lake for fun?
Fortunately, the WaterCar-EV is easily towable behind your motorhome or truck. And with a foam-filled, almost unsinkable lightweight aluminum body, it certainly seems safe enough.
A Fun Hobby Vehicle with Limited Use, or the Future of Travel?
If WaterCar’s claims are accurate, then their line of vehicles are certainly the next step in multi-terrain transportation.
However, given the limitations of speed, distance, and cost, it seems clear that aqua-cars continue to remain firmly in hobbyist territory. If you’re planning on a weekend at the lake, or live within a short distance of a body of water, then the easy transition between land and water would certainly be a fun, convenient way to enjoy a day out.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to enjoying the novelty of seamless water/land travel – and the WaterCar-EV certainly seems to be one of the best choices on the market.
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