Electric jet ski promises eco-friendly watersports
The Gratis X1 can travel where other watercraft dare not go.
For all of the choices you now have when it comes to electric cars, you’re not so fortunate if you’re looking for a personal watercraft. There have been attempts, but you’re usually looking at a big hydrofoil rather than something as nimble and portable as a jet ski. Free Form Factory might just have what you want, though: it’s taking pre-orders for the Gratis X1, which it claims is the first all-electric stand-up personal watercraft. The motor promises a quieter ride and lower running costs, like you’d expect with a land-based EV, but it also opens the door to riding on waterways that don’t allow gas-powered machines. If your favorite river wasn’t an option before, it might be now.
The X1 will only run for 45 minutes on a charge when it arrives in the fall, but you can get a battery pack to extend that to an hour. Also, it’ll charge from a propane generator in addition to standard 240v outlets — if you’re spending all day at the beach, you won’t have to go hunting for a plug. If there’s any obstacle, it’s the US$17,990 starting price. That’s more expensive than Sea-Doo’s premium models as of this writing, so you’ll likely need to ride frequently for the lower running costs to offset the high initial price. Think of this like you would early electric cars: you’re buying more out of kindness to the Earth than to your bank account.