Interview with Jörg Kerner, Vice President Product Line Macan, and the two Managing Directors of Frauscher Shipyard. Stefan Frauscher is responsible for Marketing & Sales while his brother Michael is in charge of production.
If Porsche ventures onto the water with an e-boat, certain expectations go along with that. What makes the Frauscher x Porsche eFantom so special?
Jörg Kerner: With the all-electric Macan we want to provide the sportiest model in its segment. This is our stated development goal. And we have carried this ambition over to the boat via every detail. The eFantom offers characteristic Porsche E-Performance with outstanding driving characteristics.
Stefan Frauscher: Electric drives are also increasingly important in our industry as well. On the one hand, they are increasingly enjoying more social acceptance, and on the other our customers are very happy about the advantages of electromobility, namely that it’s quiet, odourless and reliable.
Michael Frauscher: We share the same standards as Porsche in terms of performance, design and innovation. Our boats must be uncompromisingly fast and beautiful. The eFantom is a real revolution. I’ve been driving boats all my life and this one is by far the best that I’ve ever driven. No boat with a combustion engine can keep up.
Jörg Kerner: The unique handling characteristics have been achieved through the low central positioning of the drive and the batteries in the hull. For turns, we have actually reduced the torque to enable comfortable control of the boat.
Were there any particular development challenges?
Jörg Kerner: The development process for the central control unit was quite involved. Because you can’t capture wheel speeds on the water and you don’t have things like a parking brake, for example, there were a lot of open interfaces. Or to stick with our example: the Macan only charges when the parking brake is engaged. We first had to generate that signal and others that were missing.
Michael Frauscher: We had to adjust the hull of the boat in the stern area to install the battery, which would not have worked otherwise. So the battery is now sitting where the fuel tank is normally located, but it needs more space in the middle part of the boat. Our team had to overcome two challenges to be successful: first, it was important to build a boat that stays within the target weight of the ICE variant. Second, we didn’t want to compromise on the comfort of the boat.
Speaking of comfort – for what type of use was the eFantom developed?
Stefan Frauscher: Our boat is perfect as a day cruiser for a relaxed swimming trip, for example, or as a tender for a super yacht to make an excursion to a coastal town.
Jörg Kerner: And for water skiing or wakeboarding. This sport hasn’t been possible with most other e-boats on the market. Now you can do it perfectly and without the smell of the exhaust.
How exactly did the collaboration with Porsche come about?
Michael Frauscher: I still clearly recall when Porsche approached us in October 2021. The company was looking for a suitable boat builder that could work with them to take Porsche technology from the road to the water. We at the Frauscher Shipyard were still looking for first-class technology to increase the performance of our electric boats, so everything just fell into place. Just two years later we have developed a state-of-the-art electric boat and I can sum up by saying that the depth at which Porsche started its engineering is not reached by other manufacturers, even at the end of their development.