As the old saying goes: if it swims like a loon, lives on a lake like a loon and doesn’t produce any greenhouse gas-forming emissions like a loon, then it’s probably a Loon. Montgomery Gisborne, president of the Tamarack Lake Electric Boat Company and originator of the Loon solar boat, couldn’t agree more as the popularity of his company’s 8-passenger recreational innovation takes like, well, ducks to water.
Earlier this month, he and Tamarack partner Ray Hirani’s newest version of their innovative solar boat product line took a first place finish at the “Future of Electric Vehicles” conference and exhibition in San Jose, California. Innovators from around the world found their way to the conference, which focused on “land, water and air” borne vehicles powered by efficient batteries and electric motors. Earth-saving creativity abounded, featuring vehicles which can “fly” underwater, propel commuters to work without burning any oil and even a motorcycle which holds the world record for fastest electric vehicle at a blistering zero to sixty mph time of under one second.
“My personal favorite entries, after our own, were the electric airplanes”, stated Mr. Hirani, “they are far off as a practical application of electric propulsion but recent developments demonstrate that they have potential, just as electric boats were viewed many decades ago. Electric boats, coupled with solar-produced energy, are at an enviable position as far as consumer acceptance and practicality go”.
Mr. Gisborne presented his experiences travelling North America’s waterways to the delegates assembled at the four-day event. Judging for the “New Vehicle Application Award” was based on a list of criteria which included practicality, innovation and numbers of units produced. The
event will next be held in Berlin and alternates between Europe and North America.
While in California, Mr. Gisborne visited Westlake Village, a lakeside community near Los Angeles which disallows fossil-fueled boats on their man-made lake. The residents there much prefer their clean and quiet electric boats which recharge their batteries from their electricity supplied at their docks. There are well over 1,200 such electricity- powered boats which ply the landlocked, 200-acre lake. “I was stunned to see so many electric boats in one closely-defined area”, Mr. Gisborne commented after a tour aboard an “American Beauty” plug-and-play electric boat, “this really demonstrates the tremendous potential of electric boats and when you add solar, it just expands the functionality of the product so that you can lessen the dependence on shorepower and makes multi-day cruising possible”.
The Loon can rely entirely on sunpower but also has an onboard “opportunity charger” to capture shorepower if and when required such as during cloudy conditions. Westlake Village is one of several such existing and planned developments in California and other states.
The Tamarack Lake Electric Boat Company has aggressive plans to commence production of their newest Loon ™ model in New York State, pictured above, starting in 2011. A site has been located and orders are presently being processed.
For information about the Future of Electric Vehicles conference, please contact:
For information about the Tamarack Lake Electric Boat Company, please contact:
Montgomery Gisborne, President