Even two years ago, the idea of electric-powered watercraft was confined mostly to cool-looking sketches. The notion didn’t carry much credibility in the boating world, since water’s high drag caused batteries to deplete quickly and severely limited range. And who wants to be stuck offshore with dead batteries?
Technology may have finally caught up to the concept, with more than two dozen builders (and counting) having recently launched new EV runabouts. Range remains the restricting factor, but these inshore craft now make sense to four-wheeled EV owners who understand the charging routine. In return: no emissions, instant acceleration and silent running, likely acceptable tradeoffs for boaters who typically use their vessels for only limited periods, anyway. Which means right now we’re watching electric boats come of age in real time. Here are 14 models leading the pack.