$450K Voltari 260 Is Pure Green Thrills: Delivers 60 MPH Speeds With Electric Propulsion

The boating industry started out as one of the most eco-friendly around, in terms of propulsion, that is. Well, once motors started being integrated into the mix, we fulfilled our need for speed and fun but lost the "green" factor behind it all. These days, teams like Voltari are working to keep the motors and speed but eliminating the CO2 with nothing more than electrified goodness, even setting records in the process.
Voltari 260 15 photos
Photo: Voltari Marine Electric
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Voltari. Few people have heard this name, and even fewer have witnessed the magic they bring to the boating industry. Nonetheless, once you see the same results that I have, you may very well be finding yourself tracking down this crew and asking them to build you your very own Voltari 260, a design that has resulted from a lifetime of passion and research and development.

The mind behind it all is Cam Heaps, CEO and Founder of Voltari, but he's also the Founder of another name in the boating world, Carbon Marine, and even a Co-Founder of Pantera Boats. However, it wasn't until the acquisition of LTS Marine that Voltari Power, now Voltari Marine Electric, was officially born. This may have been the final piece of the puzzle because a year or so after this venture, I got an e-mail telling me all about how this Fort Lauderdale-based crew operating out of Canada just completed a crossing of the Gulf Stream – Key Largo to Bimini, Bahamas - "marking the first and longest overseas distance an electric vehicle (EV) has successfully completed."

So, what is the result of all those years working towards a dream? Well, this may be one of the best results in terms of technology and green power. Sure, the whole process of collecting lithium, packing it into batteries, and producing carbon fiber and the resins it needs to solidify may not result from the greenest of practices, but that's not what we're talking about here. This time around, we're talking about how we can keep all the fun and speed of a powerboat without the chemical and phonic emissions we've often experienced.

Voltari 260
Photo: Voltari Marine Electric
Now, the problem with building a fast and electric boat is that you need to supply it with the necessary energy to run motors and all that, and in the case of the 260, that power is supplied by 142 kWh of lithium-ion, and that means a whole lot of extra weight. So, to bring the 260's heft as low to baseline as possible, carbon fiber is the material chosen to craft each hull.

With that aspect out of the way, let's see what all that power feeds. In order to reach speeds upwards of 60 mph (97 kph), the Voltari 260 is equipped with a motor that cranks out a peak of 550 kW of power. That's the equivalent of 738 hp. Once you couple that with a 1,350 Nm (996 ft-lb) of torque, you're looking at the pizzazz necessary to have you spilling the bubbly for sure.

Best of all, that torque is delivered instantly, as it is in all EVs, but Voltari goes a step further and even asks, "what sort of torque curve would you like, sir?" Because such levels are electronically controlled, even future buyers may be able to tune their 260 to their liking.

As for a few other pieces of information that you may need to know if you're ever interested in dishing out $450K (€416K at current exchange rates) on a 260 are that comes in with a length of 26 feet (8 meters), a weight of 7,000 pounds (3,175 kilograms), so trailers are a go, and that a draft of 31 inches (79 centimeters) means you can island hop with this bugger like there's no tomorrow. Come to think of it, the Voltari 260 could be the perfect superyacht tender for those tycoons looking to leave less of a footprint on the environment.

Voltari 260
Photo: Voltari Marine Electric
But, one piece of missing information is how long it'll take you to recharge a spent battery, which also brings me to my next point. The aquatic crossing that Voltari recently completed is a 91-mile (146-kilometer) journey which, most importantly, was completed on a single charge. But, due to the nature of electric propulsion, to ensure the 260 made it to its destination, the team cruised at a constant 5 mph (8 kph) speed. That's like an 18-hour trip... and while that doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun, if you're to rip it around at full throttle, again, we don't know just how long you'll be able to enjoy your boating experience.

Now, Voltari isn't the only crew that's focused on building electric boats; this has been going on for years. But what is neat about this company is the result of their work. Look at it, for god's sake; the 260 presents itself like a top-shelf speedboat. The sleek and narrow carbon fiber hull screams speed before it even hits the water, and once you punch the throttle, hold on to your hats. Oh, and Garmin, the navigation systems manufacturer, is even directly implicated in developing the 260's brains.

Considering that this is the first product to come out of the Voltari drawing boards, I have rather high hopes for this crew in terms of future products. Even if the 260 is the only boat they ever build and launch, if they continue to perfect it, we could be looking at a new chapter in electric boating. Oh, and if you're hitting up the Miami International Boat show this year, pop by and tell Voltari to show you what they got.

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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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