While the latest electric Porsche ventures have kept up on many fronts and found a happy home with true Porsche fans, here is something for those of us who prefer water over land, the eFantom. Thanks to Porsche and Frauscher Shipyard, Fantom Air has its first production model on display. The co-created electric sport boat, which will employ the same drivetrain as the upcoming all-electric Porsche Macan, is ready for its Lake Garda debut.
This isn’t Porsche’s first foray into the water. In 1959, the company unveiled the type 729 boat engine to the public. Porsche’s distinctive design continues alluring today, using materials beneficial for a nautical setting. A bow thruster makes anchoring and casting off easier. It includes an electric stainless steel anchor with a stainless steel chain, LED ambient lighting, LED underwater lights, and a cooling compartment as standard.
Adapted & Customized
Porsche has customized and further enhanced its road vehicle drive technology for use on the water. The Frauscher x Porsche 850 Fantom Air is built on the same Premium Platform Electric (PPE) as the new Porsche Macan. This features a cutting-edge permanently stimulated synchronous electric motor (PSM) with a peak output of 400 kW for use in the eFantom, as well as the related power electronics. A shaft transfers power from the electric motor to the distinctive maritime Z-drive.
The electric motor is located at the back of the boat, and the controls are placed in a watertight box with the Porsche insignia. The lithium-ion battery with a gross capacity of 100 kWh, also derived from the Macan, is housed beneath the rear lounge area. Porsche engineers chose wire rope mounts for the suspension in the support frame because they are especially effective at absorbing the shocks that are unavoidable when driving rapidly and in waves.
Powerful E-Performance & Four Modes
The Docking, Range, Sport, and Sport Plus options are available on the eFantom. The modes have various speed limits and alter the throttle response’s distinctive curve. For instance, the maximum speed in docking mode for harbor driving is eight knots, or 15 km/h.
More Than 250 kW Of Charging Capacity
The best cruising speed is 41 km/h (22 knots). At this clip, a battery charge can be used to cruise for around one hour or 45 kilometers. Driving at hull speed allows for ranges of more than 100 kilometers. In Sport Plus mode, the top speed is set to 85 km/h (46 kn). Typical trips with a combination of slow and fast travel take two to three hours, based on the driving style.
A charging lounge should not be needed, as Porsche offers on land, since infrastructure is available in the vast majority of ports. Under optimal conditions, the battery may be charged from 10% to 80% state of charge (SoC) in less than 30 minutes. The electric boat can be charged with over 250 kW of DC power at DC fast-charging stations because of Porsche’s 800-volt technology. AC charging at regular home and high-voltage outlets is also conceivable, and will be the most popular use case, according to Frauscher and Porsche experts. A normal 11-kW AC charger is also provided. The charging ports are positioned on the left bench’s front side.
Porsche shared that Jörg Kerner, Vice President Product Line Macan, and the two Managing Directors of Frauscher Shipyard were interviewed. Stefan Frauscher is in charge of marketing and sales, while Michael is in charge of production.
“Uncompromisingly fast and beautiful”
If Porsche ventures onto the water with an e-boat, certain expectations go along with that. What makes the Frauscher x Porsche eFantom so special?
Jörg Kerner: With the all-electric Macan we want to provide the sportiest model in its segment. This is our stated development goal. And we have carried this ambition over to the boat via every detail. The eFantom offers characteristic Porsche E-Performance with outstanding driving characteristics.
Stefan Frauscher: Electric drives are also increasingly important in our industry as well. On the one hand, they are increasingly enjoying more social acceptance, and on the other our customers are very happy about the advantages of electromobility, namely that it’s quiet, odourless and reliable.
Michael Frauscher: We share the same standards as Porsche in terms of performance, design and innovation. Our boats must be uncompromisingly fast and beautiful. The eFantom is a real revolution. I’ve been driving boats all my life and this one is by far the best that I’ve ever driven. No boat with a combustion engine can keep up.
Jörg Kerner: The unique handling characteristics have been achieved through the low central positioning of the drive and the batteries in the hull. For turns, we have actually reduced the torque to enable comfortable control of the boat.
Were there any particular development challenges?
Jörg Kerner: The development process for the central control unit was quite involved. Because you can’t capture wheel speeds on the water and you don’t have things like a parking brake, for example, there were a lot of open interfaces. Or to stick with our example: the Macan only charges when the parking brake is engaged. We first had to generate that signal and others that were missing.
Michael Frauscher: We had to adjust the hull of the boat in the stern area to install the battery, which would not have worked otherwise. So the battery is now sitting where the fuel tank is normally located, but it needs more space in the middle part of the boat. Our team had to overcome two challenges to be successful: first, it was important to build a boat that stays within the target weight of the ICE variant. Second, we didn’t want to compromise on the comfort of the boat.
Speaking of comfort — for what type of use was the eFantom developed?
Stefan Frauscher: Our boat is perfect as a day cruiser for a relaxed swimming trip, for example, or as a tender for a super yacht to make an excursion to a coastal town.
Jörg Kerner: And for water skiing or wakeboarding. This sport hasn’t been possible with most other e-boats on the market. Now you can do it perfectly and without the smell of the exhaust.
How exactly did the collaboration with Porsche come about?
Michael Frauscher: I still clearly recall when Porsche approached us in October 2021. The company was looking for a suitable boat builder that could work with them to take Porsche technology from the road to the water. We at the Frauscher Shipyard were still looking for first-class technology to increase the performance of our electric boats, so everything just fell into place. Just two years later we have developed a state-of-the-art electric boat and I can sum up by saying that the depth at which Porsche started its engineering is not reached by other manufacturers, even at the end of their development.
As CleanTechnica has highlighted before, this story holds significance for the EV industry as a whole. It clarifies Porsche’s consistent success in attaining EV innovation and goals. The company’s commitment to developing and expanding its line of electric vehicles to include water shows the ambition of the long-standing manufacturers to gain influence.
“The Frauscher x Porsche 850 Fantom Air will celebrate its official world premiere in January 2024 at the “boot” trade fair in Düsseldorf. The initial plan is for an exclusive first edition of 25 units, which can be ordered from Frauscher starting at €561,700 net and which are to be delivered to the first customers from 2024. Interested parties can register at www.frauscherxporsche.com. The boat will be built in the Frauscher Shipyard in Ohlsdorf, Austria. Frauscher is also handing the sales logistics and the after sales management.”
First Frauscher x Porsche eFantom ready to cast off, YouTube
All images courtesy of Porsche
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