Gratis X1 is the industry's first electric PWC
A California company has introduced the world’s first electric-powered stand-up personal watercraft. Named the Gratis X1, the innovative PWC is being sold direct to consumers online through the company’s website.
With no fuel, no sound and no emissions, the Gratis X1 is described as “a thrilling yet easy-to-ride personal watercraft that provides a one-of-a-kind experience on the water.” Designed to be charged in three to four hours by a standard electrical outlet or with a propane-based generator, the Gratis X1 offers up top 45 minutes of ride time on its integrated power pack and up to 1 hour with the additional 3.3 kWh power pack. This is said to be in line with typical rider usage time of a gas-powered PWC.
“We are thrilled to unveil the world’s first electric, stand-up personal watercraft,” said Jordan Darling, founder and CEO of Free Form Factory. “With the Gratis X1, riders will experience a powerful, fun and quiet ride on some of the most pristine waterways on earth. Free of the restrictions imposed on gas-powered watercraft, the Gratis X1 gives riders of all levels the ability to explore lakes, rivers and oceans they could only dream about riding before.”
The Gratis X1 incorporates drivetrain technology from Zero Motorcycles’ Z-Force. Being electrically powered, there is no torque lag when power is applied, providing instantaneous acceleration.
The electric Gratis X1 isn’t just an environmentally friendly ride, it’s also said to be fully green in its manufacture. The deck and hull components are 100 percent recyclable, with excess material from Free Form Factory’s patented thermoform process reused to build the next Gratis X1 hull and deck. “Every step of the manufacturing process is modeled with the highest of green standards possible in mind, with superior performance,” said Darling. “We believe it is important to reduce our negative impact on the environment and we are determined to reach our goal of zero waste.”
Every major component of the Gratis X1 is built in the United States, with final assembly completed in Sacramento. Pricing starts at $17,990 with machines ready for pre-order at www.ridefreeform.com.
That price tag makes the Gratis X1 about $1,000 more expensive than any PWC currently produced by a major manufacturer. It’s also about $8,000 more than the only other stand-up PWC available for non-competition use, the new Kawasaki Jet Ski SX-R.
As a comparison, the SX-R produces a claimed 160 horsepower out of its 1,48cc four-stroke engine, while the Gratis X1 offers up 46 horsepower. The Jet Ski has a claimed top speed of around 63 mph, while the Gratis X1 clams a top speed of 40 knots, which converts to about 46 mph.
As for dimensions, the Gratis X1 is 88 inches long, 32 inches wide and 25 inches tall, which makes it quite a bit smaller than the current SX-R, which sits 104.5 inches long, 30.1 inches wide and 33.1 inches tall. The Gratis X2 is also much lighter at 380 pounds, compared to 551 pounds for the Jet Ski SX-R. It’s much more similar in size to the old two-stroke Jet Ski SX-R or the Yamaha SuperJet.