Nuvolari Lenard Hybrid Water Taxi is Venice's Future

By George Bains

Renowned design partners Carlo Nuvolari and Dan Lenard have revealed the fruit of their studio’s recent work, a project to extend sustainability to the iconic water taxis of Venice. The luxury Venetian water taxi aims to contribute to the preservation of Venice’s history city, where the studio is based.

 In a time where there has been much reflection on responsibilities towards the future of our planet and way of life, Nuvolari Lenard extends its yachting pedigree to the use of its local community. Make no mistake, the water taxi design is intended to make an imprint on the wider world and help to reduce emissions, yet the design has been born out of a care for Venice.

As Venetians, Dan and I feel a strong connection with the city and have experienced first-hand the damage that is being caused to its delicate structures, through air and noise pollution as well as physical erosion,” says Carlo Nuvolari. “We felt that it was crucial to address the problems facing our beautiful hometown, and that Nuvolari Lenard was well placed to lead the charge in finding a solution, through a unique project dedicated to helping Venice.

And so, during the 2019 edition of the Venice Boat Show, we organised a forum to discuss potential designs for a hybrid luxury watercraft that could solve Venice’s pollution problem.”

The design studio decided on a diesel-electric propulsion system as the best solution for efficiency around the famous Venice canals and even studied the pattern water taxi journeys consider practical implications.

Short-batter life is a common concern for many hybrid propulsion systems,” continues Nuvolari, “but in Venice the water taxis make regular trips to the airport in open water where they travel at higher speeds using diesel, which give the batteries time to recharge, even if not completely, for when the vessel returns to the low-speed confines of the city’s waterways, at which point it will only draw on the stored electric power.”

The opulent first 14-seat water taxi by Nuvolari Lenard, named Thunder, has already graced the picturesque canals. Built locally at Cantieri Vizianello, the 9.2m boat has received all appropriate classifications and is now ready to take to the market. The Studio is keen to see this product make a difference to Venice’s environment, and it will certainly provide joy for visitors and residents. The design honours the heritage of Venetian water taxis while including the contemporary level of luxury and style that we are accustomed to by Nuvolari Lenard.

Carlo Nuvolari and Dan Lenard have delivered some of the most awe-inspiring superyacht designs to have hit the waters. Among their Top100 designs are Oceanco’s 109m Bravo Eugenia and 106m sailing yacht Black Pearl. Always prepared to test the boundaries of innovation, the studio is already looking ahead and reveals that it is in discussion with an Asian car manufacturer over a hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system, a potential breakthrough in clean energy if applied successfully to yachting .

You can discover more about Nuvolari Lenard in the SY Original series Future Through Design, as Dan Lenard speaks about his influences, ambitions and more…

"We felt that it was crucial to address the problems facing our beautiful hometown, and that Nuvolari Lenard was well placed to lead the charge in finding a solution, through a unique project dedicated to helping Venice."

Carlo Nuvolari

"We felt that it was crucial to address the problems facing our beautiful hometown, and that Nuvolari Lenard was well placed to lead the charge in finding a solution, through a unique project dedicated to helping Venice."

Carlo Nuvolari
By George Bains
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