Top 100: Steve Gresham Announces Electric EV8 Project Under Construction

By George Bains

Shari Liu was joined by Steve Gresham, Founder and Design Director of Gresham Yacht Design, ahead of the Top 100 ‘Building Green Giants’ film premiere at BAFTA. In conversation at The Dilly Hotel in London, Gresham spoke to Shari about the responsibility of a designer to drive sustainable solutions, and announced EV8 - a project which brings excitement and flair to forward-thinking, efficient designs.

Before founding his own studio in 2011, Steve Gresham penned iconic designs for superyachts such as 123m Al Lusail and 82m Graceful during his time at Tony Castro Design and H2 Yacht Design.

Based in Mayfair, London, Gresham Yacht Design provides an all-encompassing design service to take an Owner’s brief from concept creation all the way through the build process, drawing on a wealth of industry experience. From the elegance of 120m Project Emir to the unique Hydrosphere concept, Gresham Yacht Design is certainly one of the industry’s most daring innovators.

Gresham’s discussion in the build-up to the Top 100 premiere tackled the big topic of the day, how this industry can use its wealth of talent and resource to create solutions for a more sustainable future.

“It’s probably the most important thing in the world today,” declared Gresham. “Sustainability, recyclability, reuse. I think the superyacht industry has to step up and play its part.”

Prompted on the role of both an owner and a designer in this process, Steve sees the impetus as being shared. “I think there is a responsibility on the designer to show the owner options, and this is what we do. But obviously it is driven by an owner who wants to build a boat that is as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. It comes from the owner, but there is an equal responsibility on the designer to show the owner what is possible.”

At Gresham Yacht Design, there are certainly plenty of well-developed solutions to motivate an environmentally conscious owner. Steve Gresham presented Project Albion as a concept for the British Royal Yacht, returning to a sailing platform not only out of naval traditions, but as a future-proof and efficient endeavour.

For Gresham, effective improvements in sustainability must be made not just in one specific area, but across the board. “On a boat there are so many systems,” Gresham explains, “and to my mind, if each system can be made a little more efficient, if you take all these little parts and add them together, you actually get quite a big bonus when it comes to fuel use.”

Gresham references a recent conversation he had with a superyacht Captain, who shared how repainting his hull from blue to white helped make significant savings on air conditioning simply by stopping the hull from heating up so much. “Implementation of lots of little things together will add to a bigger saving.”

One of the most exciting pieces of news from the evening came when Gresham announced a fully electric speed boat that he has currently in-construction with Hunt Marine. The project, EV8 (featured in the image slider above), shows that the pursuit of more efficient designs can be done without compromising on style. Much like the evolution of electric car designs from early concepts to the Teslas of today, the EV8 is as exciting for its slick, futuristic design as it is for its efficient electric platform.

“It’s not something that we usually do, we usually do big boats,” says Gresham, “but this is an 8m fully electric speed boat.” Gresham’s concept was born out of a desire to challenge utilitarian-looking electric boats, and instead present something exciting from a design view. “This one is the Lamborghini, the Ferrari. It’s for the guy who drives one of those cars and wants a boat that fits in with that kind of look.”

The 8m speed boat is the start of a series of fully electric boats developed by Gresham with Hunt Marine, applying their own new motor technology to get the best of both radial and axial motors, bench tested to provide over 500 horsepower whilst weighing less than 25 kilograms.

EV8 may well be a project that has drawn some inspiration from Gresham’s past experience working with the Williams Grand Prix team, transferring the high-performance focus from cars to high-speed yachts. EV8 is a thrilling sign of what is to come as the industry develops designs to meet the need for greater efficiency, and we look forward to following the progress of EV8 as well as all other projects with Gresham Yacht Design.

"I think the superyacht industry has to step up and play its part."

Steve Gresham - Founder and Design Director, Gresham Yacht Design


"I think the superyacht industry has to step up and play its part."

Steve Gresham - Founder and Design Director, Gresham Yacht Design
By George Bains