Navier's vision for sustainable water transportation takes flight in the Bay Area

ByVictoria Vallecorse & Raymund Amonoy Localish logo
Monday, January 29, 2024
This electric hydrofoil boat will transform Bay Area commutes
This electric hydrofoil boat by Navier transforms how we experience the water.

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- It's a boat, it's a plane, it's the future of transportation.

Founder and CEO Sampriti Bhattacharyya launched Navier, home to America's first all-electric hydrofoil boat. The sleek and sustainable invention is helping to reimagine our waterways.

"In a year, a person spends over 100 hours in traffic," said Bhattacharyya. "Waterways are this infrastructure, already built out that's underutilized because we haven't figured out how to move things on the water in a cost-efficient way, and not only that, in a comfortable way."

Enter the N30 craft aka the next generation of high-speed, zero-emissions water transportation.

Unlike traditional gas boats, it runs on a battery and rises above water instead of expending energy pushing through the waves. In fact, the hydrofoiling craft is 10x more efficient than gas-powered vessels.

"We're taking on electrifying boats," said Kenny Jensen, the Chief Technical Officer at Navier. "It's good for the environment, you're not burning gasoline. You're also not putting oil into the water."

The boat of the future is virtually silent and cuts through waves like butter, making it a comfortable way to avoid congestion on the highway.

"You are literally flying on a cushion of air," expressed Rich Miner, Co-Founder of Android, Entrepreneur, and Investor. "If you can have boats here in San Francisco, cutting across the Bay, that's great. The problem with San Francisco Bay, it's often choppy. Navier gets the boat up above all that."

"It feels like you're floating on clouds," added Sam Seder, the Head of Operations at Navier. "You can put your coffee, your tea, right on the seat in front of you, and it won't spill as you're going through chop at 30 mph."

This month, Navier announced a pilot program to provide water transit services to Bay Area Commuters. The financial services company Stripe, Inc. is Navier's first partner in the program.

Starting March 2024, Navier will provide water shuttle services for Stripe employees traveling from Larkspur, California to Stripe's US headquarters in South San Francisco.

"Today, 46% of the world's population lives in crowded coastal areas, which continue to struggle with traffic congestion, fossil fuel pollution and a lack of affordable housing options," described Bhattacharyya. "Our pilot program demonstrates a clear path forward for these cities to reduce traffic, costs and emissions, connect business hubs with more affordable areas, and unlock the productive potential of millions of workers who would otherwise spend uncounted hours stuck in traffic."

Navier's groundbreaking innovations extend beyond just the product. The company is starting a movement within the maritime industry.

"We're in a climate emergency," stated Melissa Blaustein, the Mayor of Sausalito, California. "Transportation is the key to changing our carbon footprint, that's why boats like Navier's are so important."

"When we see this sort of design combined with zero emission technology like the battery electric system, it really gets us excited about the future for ferry service," added Seamus Murphy, the Executive Director of WETA.

The boat is poised to revolutionize how we experience water, initiating a positive ripple effect on the economy.

"If every marina can be a transportation hub, more waterfront infrastructure develops," said Bhattacharyya. "There will be a whole new wave of economic activity, a whole new wave of jobs, affordable housing."

She added, "That is what is exciting, that is what inspires us to get up and work as fast as we can to build out this vision."

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