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Putting the All-Electric Arc One Speedboat through its paces


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    Watch this: 40 Miles an Hour in an Electric Speedboat: Test-Driving the Arc One

    The first thing I noticed about the Arc One, a speedboat that runs only on electricity, was how quiet it is. Like an electric car, it runs much quieter than its gas-engine counterpart. When the boat is stationary, the sound is undetectable. Even at low speeds, it's easy to hold a conversation at normal volume while riding in it. Only when the propeller really starts churning water does it start to sound like a speedboat. 

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    The Arc One passes under a bridge.

    Jesse Orrall/CNET

    Inside, there's room for up to 12 passengers. The touchscreen display in the front shows a map for navigation, music selections, a rear camera view and dashboard info, including remaining charge, time of day and current speed. The screen is reminiscent of what you'd see inside a Tesla, and the steering wheel and throttle are smooth and intuitive to use.

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    Arc co-founder Mitch Lee demonstrates the Arc One's touchscreen.

    Jesse Orrall/CNET

    Two massive battery packs hold 220 kWh of power, which dwarfs what you'd find with almost any consumer EV you'd see on the road. Arc co-founder Mitch Lee told me the batteries are stored in a way that keeps them both water- and airtight, with data being transmitted all the time to ensure their continued safe operation.

    With 500 horsepower, the Arc One's top speed is software-set to 40 mph. I had an opportunity get behind the wheel briefly and bring the boat up to top speed, and it put quite a smile on my face.

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    Arc One's top speed is 40 mph.

    Jesse Orrall/CNET

    Unfortunately, if you want one of your own, this particular model is already sold out. The Arc One retailed for $300,000. That's on par with other high-end gas boats of this type, and $90,000 less than competitor Candela's electric hydrofoil powerboat. Lee tells me Arc is already hard at work on its next boat, which can be reserved now via its website with a $500 deposit. More news is expected on Arc's next model sometime next year.

    To see the Arc One in action, check out the video in this article.

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