Tom Ward, cofounder and CEO of Epoch, is doing for boats what Tesla has done for cars – go all electric. His startup designs and manufactures electric boats with bidirectional energy capability. Currently pursuing pre-seed funding, the company hopes to dramatically expand electric boat sales to benefit both the environment and the power grid.
In this episode, Tom talks about how he came to cofound Epoch, the company’s current investment goals, and his future vision for electric boats:
- For Tom, boating has been a lifelong love – from solo sailing as young as eight to rowing on the crew team in college. After being trained as an electromechanical engineer, Tom worked in the recreational marine industry. Throughout his career, he came to notice how much annual maintenance was required on traditional combustion-powered boats. With Epoch, he hopes to take the hassle out of boating through employing low-maintenance electric systems.
- Epoch is focused on replacing boats in the sub $50,000 range. According to Tom, 90% of boats sold in the U.S. fall into this category, but are only used 10 days per year on average. This leaves a lot of extra battery power, which Epoch plans to feed back into the grid.
- Epoch’s patented hydrofoil design aims to decrease drag and increase speed. Tom describes how their design is fundamentally different from other hydrofoils on the market, including how it retracts, deploys, and manages stability for the vessel.
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