Formation of NavAlt – Story Behind India’s First Solar Ferry

In November 2011, Navgathi had just successfully manufactured and launched the fastest solar boat in the country. This was then officiated by Limca Book of records, India’s answer to Guinness book of records, giving Navgathi an award for it. Our record got us a lot of coverage in the media. But for us at Navgathi we had a big question in our mind. What next?

India's Fastest Solar boat created by Navgathi
India’s Fastest Solar boat created by Navgathi

In France, AltEn systems was already manufacturing solar electric ferries. However they were not generating majority power from Solar. There was a gap in the energy production by solar panels and boats requirements. Philippe, the CEO of AltEn, wanted to find a solution to this problem. He wanted to create a water transportation vehicle that draws most, if not full, power from solar. A solar ferry in true sense.

Ferries Manufactured by AltEn Systems in France
Ferries Manufactured by AltEn Systems in France

On hearing about Navgathi’s achievement in India, Philippe thought Navgathi may have a solution to his problem. He contacted them in December 2011 for exploring possibilities of manufacturing solar-electric boats which are minimally dependent on external sources of energy.
After meeting in December end, Sandith ,CEO of Navgathi, and Philippe, CEO of AltEn, decided to work together and launch solar-electric boats and ferries in India. Navgathi and AltEn would work jointly towards the boat design with Navgathi executing construction that would minimize energy requirements of the boats and AltEn would provide battery, systems and propulsion technology.

This was the unofficial birth of NavAlt.