Rendering of Arc One boat.
Arc Boats
  • Former SpaceX engineers are building a commercial electric speedboat called the Arc One.
  • The boats, designed to reach speeds of 40 miles per hour, will sell for $300,000, the company said.
  • All of Arc's employees other than its CEO previously worked at SpaceX.
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A team of former SpaceX engineers is building R4.3 million commercial electric speedboats.

California startup called Arc said has raised around R61 million in seed funding to build a 475-horsepower electric speedboat, Bloomberg first reported on Thursday.

Arc plans to sell its first model, Arc One, by the end of the year, the company has confirmed. The 7-metre boat is designed to reach top speeds of 40 miles per hour (64-kilometres per hour) and its 200 kWh battery should last between three and five hours between charges, Arc said on its website.

You can reserve one of Arc's electric boats by putting down a fully refundable $1,000 (around R14,000) deposit, according to Arc's website.

Rendering of the interior of Arc One boat
Arc Boats

Arc CEO Mitch Lee, who is the only Arc employee to not work for SpaceX, told Bloomberg that "the amount of carryover between rocket-building and boat-building is actually surprisingly high."

Lee founded the startup with college friend Ryan Cook, he told Bloomberg.

After leaving his job at Boeing in 2013, Cook spent seven years working for Elon Musk's rocket company, SpaceX, as an engineer, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Drawing of Arc Boat's new electric speedboat
Arc Boats

Kevin Wollscheid, Arc's lead manufacturing engineer, previously worked at SpaceX for six years, his LinkedIn profile says.

Audrey Gaither, a mechanical engineer at Arc, and Robert Binkowski, Arc's vehicle engineer, both worked at SpaceX as engineers before moving to the electric boat startup, according to their LinkedIn profiles.

Arc is facing competition from Swedish startup X Shore, which started selling electric boats in March for around R4.7 million. Another Swedish company, Candela, also makes all-electric speedboats that can fly above the water.

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