It can run quietly on EV power when using a canal.
Toyota’s boat lineup (you knew Toyota made boats, right?) is going green with the introduction of the experimental PONAM-28V with a hybrid powertrain. The public can’t yet take this watercraft for an electrified voyage, though. Instead, the company will give three of them to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government for evaluation from July 2018 to March 2021.
Toyota claims this is “Japan's first leisure craft with a parallel hybrid system”. A 3.0-litre internal combustion engine produces 256 horsepower. The electric motor contributes an additional 48 hp and a hefty 258 pound-feet of torque. A lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 11 kilowatt-hours. The parallel hybrid lets the watercraft run purely on electric power at times when navigators desire low emissions and want to make less noise.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will initially use the 28-foot boats for maintenance duty on piers and ports facilities. It’ll also offer canal tours to residents. Once the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games begin, the hybrid boats will transport people to locations along the waterfront. At the end of the test, the government will report back about the hybrid system’s performance.
The Ponam-28V is the smallest model in Toyota’s boat lineup. The version available to consumers (above) uses a 3.0-litre four-cylinder engine that’s also available in the Land Cruiser and Hilux. In its maritime tune, the engine produces 256 hp. The watercraft features a hull that uses a mix of aluminium, fibreglass, and carbon fibre. Prices in Japan start at 19.2 million yen (around £140,000). The company also offers the larger Ponam-31 and Ponam-35 models.
If you’d prefer more power, a large enough pile of money might convince Lexus to build you another example of its one-off Sport Yacht Concept (above). Displayed in Miami in January 2017, the boat featured two 5.0-litre V8s – like the one in the RC F or LC 500. The total output of 885 horsepower allowed for a top speed of 49 miles per hour.