This electric yacht is solar powered and can drive itself

Cars aren’t the only vehicle getting an electric makeover these days.

A new electric yacht, dubbed the SoelCat 12, is scheduled to launch next year and will be solar powered and autonomous, according to a press statement. (It’s unclear how the ship is able to drive itself, and we’ve reached out to the company for more information.)

The SoelCat 12 has a total lithium battery capacity of 120kWh and can operate six hours at eight knots speed on batteries alone.

The vessel is 39 feet long, holds up to 24 passengers, and can reach speeds between six to 15 knots.

The price for the sleek looking solar electric catamaran has not yet been revealed, but we know that it isn’t necessarily aimed at just the wealthy.

Rather, the solar-powered mini yacht, which was created by the Netherland-based company Soel Yacht, is meant to offer a better way for travellers to get around when they are on vacation.

As climate change concerns grow, more people have embraced ecotourism — environmentally responsible and sustainable travel to natural areas.

And while resorts have adopted all kinds of green initiatives, there hasn’t been as much attention paid to making hotel and tour transport sustainable, Joep Koster, designer and architect at Soel Yachts, said in a press statement.

Koster, a naval architect, and his business partner David Czap are no stranger to the electric boat industry.

In fact, Czap cofounded Czeers Solarboats in 2006, which was the company responsible for creating the first solar powered speedboat. He then went on to found another company called Naval DC in 2008, which focused on developing solar electric propulsion systems.

The company plans to launch their first vessel in the later half of this year, but they are already taking reservations for test drives.

NOW WATCH: Take a look inside the $US90 million superyacht that can travel nearly 5,000 miles on one tank of fuel

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