Today’s Solutions: May 19, 2024

Venice has long been working toward a more sustainable balance of tourism and local life. As a city of nearly 120 small islands connected by aquatic thoroughfares, that work is inexorably tied to more efficient water transit. Among the most recent transportation modes to undergo a green upgrade are the city’s water taxis.

Looking for a cleaner, more sustainable path forward, Venice nautical design firm Nuvolari Lenard has launched the Thunder water taxi. The 14-seater stays true to the classic wood style of Venice’s iconic water limousines while incorporating a new hybrid engine designed to cut emissions.

The diesel engine offers the range and power for open-water trips to and from the airport. Meanwhile, the battery charges and stores an electric reserve used for low-speed cruising through the spider web network of city canals.

What’s particularly cool is that while the propulsion gets a do-over to become more environmentally friendly, it comes at no cost to the classic style of the iconic boats. Instead of giving it a dramatic modern makeover, the firm keeps the classic lines and trim of a Venetian water limousine.

Nuvolari Lenard also plans to develop a hydrogen fuel cell water taxi and says it’s in talks with an Asian car manufacturer about using its fuel cell technology for the prototype.

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