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First electric fiberglass pontoon unveiled at Minneapolis Boat Show

By Tim Hennagir

ELUX’s Chief Design Officer Bart Jones asked himself a simple question when he began pondering initial concepts for an electric pontoon five years ago. What if a pontoon didn’t look like a pontoon?

The Minnesota-based boat building company started by medical device entrepreneur Howard Root and boat craftsman Jones turned plenty of heads at the Minneapolis Boat Show, Jan. 24-27 at the Minneapolis Convention Center after unveiling its No. 1 production model on the show floor.

The 24-foot fiberglass pontoon is powered by a 72-volt, 420-amp lithium battery pack propelling a direct drive inboard electric motor at speeds up to 14 miles per hour.

At cruising speed, the ELUX electric pontoon motors for over 10 hours on a single charge and recharges simply by plugging into a standard electrical outlet.

“We are changing the paradigm for this market segment on two fronts,” said Root, who is the company’s CEO. “We are going from gas to electric power, and from aluminum to fiberglass pontoons. You don’t realize how pleasurable it is to have a completely silent boat on the water.”

Root and Jones told Boating Industry that the benefits of electric boating with the ELUX pontoon include the following:

Trouble-free: ELUX’s electric drive makes operating and maintaining a boat easy. There’s no gas to fill, no oil to change, no ignition to fail and no engine to winterize.

Emissions-free: ELUX’s lithium battery pack means there’s no exhaust to smell and no emissions in the air or water. Gone are the days of gas spills and oil slicks.

Noise-free: Electric boating means quiet boating. Passengers on the ELUX can enjoy the sounds of nature, listening to music or quiet conversation without having to shout over a gasoline-powered engine.

Starting with a blank sheet of paper, Jones said he sought to create a pontoon that was tailored for lake cruising but was also sleek and stylish.

According to Root and Jones, the luxury standard features of the ELUX include:

  • Integrated passenger seating for 12, with flip-up storage & multiple USB chargers;
  • Slide-out cabinets for full-sized cooler, trash and recycling storage;
  • Unobstructed 2-foot swim platform with under-mount telescoping ladder;
  • GPS with Simrad GO9 XSE 9-inch display and TotalScan transducer sonar;
  • Premium Infinity stereo by Harmon Kardan with 8 speakers, subwoofer and Bluetooth;
  • LED bow and stern lighting;
  • Handheld electric portable vacuum;
  • Removable custom shade sail for protection from the sun and rain;
  • Removable transom gate and full-sized table;
  • Pull-up cleats and quick release customized flat boat fenders.

Initial limited 2019 production of the ELUX pontoon will be available for sale and delivery in May. Jones said the company’s pontoon carries a $85,000 price tag, but first-year models will sell for $75,000.

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