Electric boats, the first Italian race in Venice! Interview with Luca Ferrari (Class 1 champion)

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Coinciding with the Venice Boat Show (May 29-June 6), the first-ever Italian electric boat race comes to the Lagoon. This is an important signal as also evidenced by the more than 29 registrants from around the world who will participate in the E-regatta. While Italy’s first electric boat race is already an event in itself, making it even more memorable will be the presence of Italian astronaut Maurizio Cheli along with motorboat champion Luca Ferrari aboard Anvera E-Lab. We caught up with Luca Ferrari to take a little bit of stock of the electric situation in Italy.El

It will be the first real Italian competition of electric boats. And there are many entries for this debut. Is this a sign that times are changing?

Italy’s first electric boat race is an absolute event. Certainly this is an important sign that times are changing for boating as well. Automotive leads the way, and we are going to do what automotive started to do 5 years ago. Today we are at the beginning of a momentous change.

Luca Ferrari, above, and Maurizio Cheli, below

Do boatyards believe in this world?

So far, not much. Let’s just say that construction sites are showing some deafness to this change. Instead, it is the start-ups that invest in it or the automakers that have already figured out where it will go. As they entered Formula E they will probably enter theE1 Series. We will then have electric racing boating perhaps sponsored by automakers. I see it more difficult for recreational boating: boating is somewhat deaf to innovations for now. But we can say that it is like Tesla. Those who see long give the go ahead, then others are more or less forced to follow.

So do you think other salons, when there are, will follow suit after Venice?

Venice, if everything remains on schedule, will set the tone and then the others will be forced to follow. There will be an entire electric dock in Venice, in addition to the also-electric boat race. If I were the organizer of Genoa for example, I would definitely envision a show with at least one pier dedicated to electric. As in cars, when there were the last fairs you had the electric pavilion. You will see that if it happens on Venice others will follow.

You are participating in this first Italian electric regatta with Anvera E-Lab, right?

Yes, I will participate with the same one we used in Monaco Solar Challenge in Monte Carlo. Material-wise it will be all carbon, as per Anvera’s philosophy. We aim to go very fast, and on board with me I will have an exceptional co-pilot, astronaut Maurizio Cheli. It is a bit of a boating debut for him, but for an astronaut who has also been aboard a shuttle, I don’t think there will be too many problems.

Luca, you were Class 1 World Champion. How do you feel about an electric boat instead?

I would say that the feeling is the same as I got from trying Tesla or Smart. Diametrically opposed machines, but with monstrous torque potential. In the boat it is the same, that is, you have great power at low rpm, which especially in boating is something you notice right away. Anvera E-Lab does 0 to 40 knots in 4 seconds. Then you have to manage it not to waste it, but the first feeling of having lots of torque and it’s a very nice feeling.

And how do you see the future of electric boats in Italy?

A world is opening up, and the proof is in the range of cars. Today, 350-500 km of range is reported without any problems. This means that a world has opened up that did not exist. For me, small coastal electric caboose will be revolutionary. The world that will at first revolve around will still be of owners with good money, but in short order this will change. In the next two to three years this phenomenon will be to be followed very closely. Gradually the costs of inverters and batteries are also coming down. The sale value is starting to be interesting. I can say that prices have dropped and will drop a lot more.

Gregorio Ferrari


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