BY Ryan Swift on 25 May 2023

The latest entry in the all-electric category has the most unusual design ethos yet in this segment

During the recent Cannes Film Festival, German auto giant BMW and start-up German boat builder Tyde showcased a new on-water concept, the Icon. This startling new vessel is all-electric and relies on giant battery packs used by the BMW i3 and hydrofoiling technology to achieve a 100-km range and top speeds of over 30 knots.

Tyde was founded by Dr. Christoph Ballin, co-founder of German marine electric propulsion company Torqeedo, and Tobias Hoffritz, formerly the Innovation Manager at BMW AG, and Creative Director for Automotive at Designworks, A BMW Group Company.

The Icon has a length overall of just over 13 metres and waterline length of 13 metres. Its draught is 1.87m at full displacement and .85m when foiling. BMW and Tyde say that the Icon reduces energy requirements by up to 80%, allowing for its remarkable performance numbers.

The main propulsion comes from two 100kW electric motors powered by 240kWh battery banks.

The new boat puts BMW in the all-electric boating race. Recently, Sweden’s Candela unveiled the design of its latest all-electric hydrofoiling model. 

The Icon’s designers opted to create a “glass cabin” effect by reducing the hull sides and extending the windows to create an open experience. The hull has been kept flat and open, with guests having the experience of gliding over the water.

The interior offers a modernistic lounge atmosphere. The electric controls feature tonal sounds devised by Hollywood soundtrack artist Hans Zimmer. The sense of space created by the large windows is boosted by the 4.5m beam. The helm station is positioned in the middle of the vessel, which is possible thanks to the expansive view from everywhere in the interior. BMW included the touchscreen display technology used in its growing fleet of electric cars.

In a release issued on May 17, BMW said that the vessel is not just a concept vessel, but “a fully production-ready example”. BMW said the Icon focused on modern, urban lifestyles and could be of interest to “luxury-conscious” private customers or the commercial sector.

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