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It’s Electric! New Raft Slides Into Colorado River Discovery

It’s Electric! New Raft Slides Into Colorado River Discovery
January 18
13:35 2016

Colorado River Discovery is the first company in the region to own a 100% electric raft.

The U.S. Coast Guard has officially certified CRD’s electric raft and the vehicle has been registered with the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

The next step for “Helios,” (as the raft has come to be known), is field testing the watercraft.

Helios, named after the God of the Sun in Greek Mythology, will be ready for a public launch in the spring of this year.  The launch will also coincide with CRD’s tenth anniversary and the National Park Services’ 100th anniversary.

Being electric has significant advantages over other fuel sources, but does not come without disadvantages.  One such disadvantage is, like all things electric, it must be charged.  To help alleviate any charging issues, the Bureau of Reclamation has pitched in to install a charging station for the electric raft.  This will allow Helios to dock with the station and charge its batteries whenever the need arises.

Power to the charging station, which is located at the CRD dock, will be provided by the generating station in the Glen Canyon Dam.

According to Korey Seyler of Colorado River Discovery, “It will be the first of its kind on the Colorado River, producing zero emissions, exponentially reducing waste products that could pollute the environment or disrupt the climate. It will also greatly reduce noise pollution on the Colorado River.”

Seyler also spoke about the possibility of the entire CDR  fleet of rafts becoming electric.

“That’s the idea, but there is much advancement to be made with this technology,” said Seyler.

The raft can run at full power for about one hour with the current charging technology, but Seyler says the raft won’t be run at full power all the time and should run for a continuous three hours before needing to be recharged.

The watercraft is reportedly a culmination of a decade’s worth of research and development.

Photo Credit: Martin Stamat


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