BMW and Tyde’s Icon: A Groundbreaking Electric Watercraft Redefining Sustainable Mobility

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BMW created the Icon electric watercraft in partnership with boat builder Tyde. The icon was unveiled during the 76th Cannes Film Festival. The companies claim that the craft, currently a one-off, is production ready. Two 134-horsepower electric motors power the icon. Providing a total capacity of 240 kilowatt-hours, the craft is equipped with six batteries, sourced from the defunct BMW 13. While in motion, the boat lifts itself out of the water due to hydrofoils.

Energy requirements are reduced by up to 80% with his hydrofoil setup, according to BMW. The hydrofoil achieves a cruising speed of 24 knots (28 miles per hour) and a maximum speed of 30 knots (35 mph). The icon provides a maximum range of 50 nautical miles between recharges.

Two-time Oscar winner Hans Zimmer has created the sound for the Icon’s drive system, delivered through speakers with Dolby Atmos technology. The icon features a roughly triangular shape that tapers from a wide rear to a pointed nose. The craft possesses dimensions of 43.14 feet (13.15 meters) in length and 14.8 feet (4.5 meters) in width at the rear.

BMW Designworks is responsible for the design of the Icon, including its dominant windows. The glass doors at the rear provide access to a lounge area and the boat’s controls. The captain monitors everything from a 32-inch touchscreen display with a 6K resolution. BMW’s iDrive system has influenced the user interface of the touchscreen display, which supports voice commands.

In order to fully appreciate the view from the large windows, 360-degree rotating seats are provided for the occupants of the Icon. The occupants manage the entertainment on board through an infotainment system controlled by a tablet.

The BMW brought a new form of transformation to the 76th Cannes Film Festival in the form of the icon. Developed in collaboration with Tyde, the Icon is an all-electric boat positioned as a new kind of flag bearer for sustainable mobility on water.

Enabling it to raise itself out of the water at speed to reduce drag and increase range, BMW battery technology is combined with Tyde’s foiling technology in the craft. Providing 240 kilowatt-hours of power to twin 100-kilowatt motors, the Icon is powered by six batteries sourced from BMW 13.

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Hans Zimmer‘s collaboration with BMW has resulted in the creation of an on-board soundscape for the Icon, delivered through a Dolby Atmos-powered system. It is believed by BMW that a boat like the Icon could appeal to private buyers or commercial customers, though there are no current plans for mass production.

The hydrofoils of the Icon do not create a wake like a conventional watercraft, and quieter operation compared to a combustion engine is offered by the electric motors, providing a serene journey across the water. Using a 69-kilowatt-hour battery from a Polestar2 in its C-8 electric boat, similar ideas are being explored by Candela.

As demonstrated through its BMW Film series and the presence of notable actors such as Pom Klementieff and Uma Thurman, the Icon’s debut was held at the Cannes Film Festival, aligning with BMW’s long-standing relationship with cinema and the big screen.

Rahul Somvanshi

Rahul, possessing a profound background in the creative industry, illuminates the unspoken, often confronting revelations and unpleasant subjects, navigating their complexities with a discerning eye. He perpetually questions, explores, and unveils the multifaceted impacts of change and transformation in our global landscape. As an experienced filmmaker and writer, he intricately delves into the realms of sustainability, design, flora and fauna, health, science and technology, mobility, and space, ceaselessly investigating the practical applications and transformative potentials of burgeoning developments.

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