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

India’s Fastest Solar boat created by Navgathi

In November 2011, Navgathi had just successfully manufactured and launched the fastest solar boat in the country. This was then officiated by the Limca Book of Records, India’s answer to the Guinness Book of Records, giving Navgathi an award. Our accomplishment received extensive media coverage. But for us at Navgathi, we had a big question on our minds. What next?

In France, AltEn Systems was already manufacturing solar-electric ferries. However, they were not generating the majority of their 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 vehicle that draws most, if not all, of its power from solar, a true “solar ferry” in the true sense.

On hearing about Navgathi’s achievements in India, Philippe thought Navgathi may have a solution to his problem. He contacted them in December 2011 to explore the possibility of manufacturing solar-electric boats that are minimally dependent on external energy sources.
After meeting at the end of December, 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 on the boat design, with Navgathi executing the construction that would minimise the energy requirements of the boats and AltEn providing battery, systems, and propulsion technology.

This was the unofficial birth of Navalt.