Touching a speed of 114.2 mph (183 km/h, 99 knots), the boys of the Princeton University’s Electric Speedboat Team With their electric boat piloted by the professional John Peeters have pulverized the previous 2018 record of Jaguar Vector (read our article here) stopped at 88.6 mph (141 km/h).
A Formula 1 team? A large automobile manufacturer? A famous boatyard? No, it was a group of college students who set a new world record for speed on water with electric propulsion.
A total of 44 girls and boys collaborated on the team’s work and dedicated themselves to the project for more than three years starting in 2020, using Lake Townsend Lake in North Carolina, where the rowing team usually trains, as a testing ground.
How did the world’s fastest electric boat come about? Boredom
The idea, as well as the team itself, were born at the time when Covid was raging, with the goal of promoting electric mobility. After a preliminary analysis, the Princeton people realized that the Jaguar Vector ‘s then-record was beatable.
Thus, “Big Bird” gradually took shape. Over the course of these three years, groups of 10 to 15 students took turns at the work, and during the Covid period, parts of the electric boat were made separately.
Big Bird, the record-breaking electric boat. Good to…third!
“Big Bird” has a 200 HP electric outboard motor developed in collaboration with
. It is actually the third boat made by the team. the first one sank as soon as it was put in the water. The second reached only 40 mph. The third finally set the record. The range is 30 miles (38 km) at 50 mph (80 km/h).
How to certify the speed record
Peeters, the driver of the record, once he went down into the water first recorded the speed 111.08 miles per hour in a first direction along the detection center of the Lake Townsend and then, without recharging the batteries (as required for official certification) traveled the same stretch of lake in the opposite direction, recording a speed of 117.50 mph. The average of the two readings set a new world record of 114.20 mph on October 26, 2023 at 10 a.m.