NavAlt envisions a more efficient water transport system which doesn’t use fossil fuels. Our team of engineers have combined the advancements in Electric Vehicle technology, Marine Engineering and Photovoltaics, to build electric boats and ferries which run on solar energy.
Founded in 2013, NavAlt Solar & Electric Boats Pvt. Ltd. is based in Kochi, India. NavAlt’s vision is to make marine transport more efficient by drastically reducing the energy and resources needed for building and operation. Working towards this vision, we have designed boats and ferries combining advancements in Electric Vehicle technology, marine design and Photovoltaics.
NavAlt is a result of three experts coming together, along with their respective ventures - Navgathi Marine Design & Construction Pvt. Ltd. (India), AltEn Systems (France) and EVE Systems (France).
Philippe is the founder and CEO of AltEn – the French firm with most experience of designing and building large solar ferries.
Sandith is the founder and CEO of Navgathi and has over the years led the firm to a leading firm in design and manufacturing of specialized vessels.
Frederic is the Preseident of EVE Systems, a leading firm specializing in battery integration and management for automotive application, electric motors sizing, and electric & hybrid vehicles supervision.
Over the past few years, NavAlt team has fixated on reducing the energy and resources required to build and operate modes of water transport. To do away with dependency on diesel-powered engine, we started experimenting with an electric boat, fitting it with photovoltaic panels. The resultant prototype entered the national Limca Book of Records for the ‘Fastest Solar Boat in India’. But we found out that the boat was not economically viable.
After another experiment with fishing boats, we decided to completely redesign a product, for an application which would fit in with the strengths of an electric powertrain powered by solar energy. After zeroing on passenger boats and ferries, we starting from scratch. We designed our boats and ferries to have low drag co-efficient. Using better design and advanced materials, we have reduced the weight of our products dramatically. Not only does the electric drivetrain along with Lithium battery energy storage reduce the operational expenditure drastically, it also negates the cost on the environment. Our ferries and boats have become self reliant (well, almost) with the utilization of solar PV modules on the roof. Now, we are building India’s first solar powered ferry with a 75-passenger capacity, to be delivered to the Kerala state water transport department.
In the process, we have achieved commercially viable solar-powered mode of transport. Over the next two years, we believe that the cost of solar-powered electric ferries and boats will further go down, completely overhauling a subset of the global water transport industry. We don’t see a reason why someone will buy a diesel-powered ferry in the future.