If there’s one thing Dutch shipyard Heesen has proven, it’s that you don’t have to sacrifice style for sustainability. The company recently announced the launch of its newest superyacht, dubbed Project Electra. Electra features a striking design, but what is perhaps her most intriguing aspect is that she’s a hybrid.
This vessel isn’t Heesen’s first venture into hybrid superyachts. In 2017, it released the first hybrid yacht with a fast-displacement hull form (FDHF), Home. Home was a landmark achievement, earning World Yachts’ Most Innovative Yacht award and the Baccarat SuperYacht World Trophy.
Heesen hopes to continue its pursuit of minimizing its environmental impact with this newest entry in the 5000 aluminum FDHF class. Like her sister ship, Electra combines luxury and performance with sustainability. She’d be an impressive vessel even without the hybrid propulsion system, but with it, she represents an important step toward conservation.
Like Home, Electra comes in at 49.8 meters long, or just over 163 feet. She also shares the fast displacement hull form, which displaces water in such a way that it can decrease fuel consumption by up to 20%. The aluminum hull is both lightweight and durable.
Frank Laupman of Omega Architects designed the striking exterior. Electra’s profile is instantly recognizable, with a near-vertical bow, sharp lines, and a long waterline. The overall effect makes the superyacht look like something straight out of the future, as well as helps improve performance.
Electra has a range of more than 3,000 nautical miles at 12 knots and a fuel capacity of 11,900 gallons. The yacht is notably light, with 499 gross tonnages. Electra owes much of this remarkably lightweight to her lack of a battery, which her propulsion system eliminates the need for.
Electra’s interior is just as, if not more, stunning than her exterior. Designed by the esteemed Cristiano Gatto, it centers on the idea of connecting with the nature that surrounds the yacht. Floor-to-ceiling windows cover the vessel, allowing maximum natural light and providing panoramic views of the outside.
The superyacht features plenty of outdoor space, such as a prominent sundeck with a jacuzzi and an outdoor dining space. The design offers as many ocean views as possible, emphasizing Electra’s eco-friendliness. Dark oak covers the floors.
Electra has six staterooms, including a massive master’s suite, a VIP cabin, two double guest cabins, and two twins. The lower-deck rooms all have direct access to a full-sized gym and sauna. While the master suite may not connect to these amenities, it does include an office and a marble bathroom.
In total, the rooms can house up to 12 guests. Electra also hosts a nine-person crew.
Like her sister ship, Electra features a quiet and fuel-efficient hybrid system, which includes diesel and electric engines, both of which are will run almost forever if you keep them maintained. Heesen claims that cruising can be quieter than rain. Perhaps most interestingly, Electra offers four different modes: hybrid, economic, cruising and boost mode.
Hybrid mode is the most silent option, operating at just 46dB. It relies on two water-cooled electric motors to reach a top speed of 9 knots. This mode may not be the fastest, but it offers peaceful cruising and is ideal for moving in tight quarters.
The economic model is preferable for longer journeys, offering higher speeds than hybrid mode but better fuel consumption than cruising or boost. It uses the main engines but doesn’t turn the generators on, achieving speeds between 9 and 12 knots.
Cruising mode is the most traditional method of propulsion. The diesel engines drive the ship while the generators supply the rest of the yacht with electricity. In this mode, Electra can cruise up to 15 knots.
Boost mode uses the electric motors in tandem with the diesel engines. It’s the least conservative of the drive methods but provides the yacht’s top speed of 16.5 knots.
Electra is a significant step forward in luxury travel. More indulgent methods of transportation, like yachts, often fall victim to criticism for damaging the environment. With her hybrid engine system and increased fuel efficiency, Electra stands halfway between living large and living mindfully.
Heesen is currently testing Electra on open water, with hopes of delivering her in April.