WA students build battery-powered jet ski

A team of students from The University of Western Australia has built Australia’s first electric personal jet ski.

The project was made possible thanks to donations from electronics supplier Altronics and the Australian Medical Association.

While conventional jet skis are powered by petrol, the “Renewable Energy Vehicle” (REV) produces no emissions, and is also quieter.

REV Director Professor Thomas Braunl said the innovation combined the fun of riding a jet ski with the environmental friendliness of an electric vehicle. This could allow it to be used in eco-tourism settings, or in sensitive environments where petrol powered boats are banned.

The students worked on the project over more than two years, addressing challenges associated with making the electrical systems water-tight and safe.

The REV prototype uses lithium-ion batteries to carry around eight kilowatt-hours of energy. This allows it to operate for around 30 minutes. There is capacity for more batteries, and the students are looking into a DC charging system that will cut the recharge time down to around seven minutes.

The water-cooled three-phase motor was exclusively designed and built by Perth company Submersible Motor Engineering, while Engineering support was provided by Perth’s Total Marine Technology.

Image: ABC.