Andy Langesfeld, co-founder of Posiedon AmphibWorks, is a personal watercraft expert. He was a tournament level pilot for water sports competitions and shows, operated hovercraft, raced in ultralights and developed a keen interest in amphibious vehicles which led him to start a duck tours in miami.
A few years ago, he had the opportunity to share his idea of developing an electric amphibious vehicle with a group of Tesla employees during one of his duck excursions. One even called Tesla founder Elon Musk and put Langesfeld on the phone with him.
“He puts Elon on the phone, and I’m like, ‘Elon help me make him electric.’ And he said, “Well, you know, I have a little project on Mars, but when I come back, we can talk,” Langesfeld said.
Luckily for Langesfeld, he didn’t have to wait until after a mission to Mars for his vision to begin to take shape as he finally found a partner for his idea in Steve Tice, CEO of Poseidon AmphibWorks.
Tice — a former aerospace engineer at Rockwell and co-founder of electric vehicle drivetrain company EV Drive — partnered with Langesfeld to found Poseidon in San Diego earlier this year.
The company is currently raising funds to build a prototype electric amphibious vehicle that will effortlessly convert from a three-wheeled car on land to a hydrofoil on water.
“No other company makes an amphibian EV hydrofoil,” Tice said. Due to their efficiency, electric hydrofoils are gaining traction around the world with brands like Candela, “the Tesla of electric boats”, he added. “You can match the range of a gas-powered boat with a very small battery.”
Poseidon’s three-wheeled design is also unique to previous amphibious vehicles that traditionally modify existing vehicles into amphibians. The Posiedon vehicle will be made in the same way as three-wheeled vehicles made by Carlsbad-based Aptera, Tice said, adding that one of Poseidon’s advisers is Sandy Munro of Munro & Associates, who is also an adviser to Aptera. .
“Aptera will be a big help to our credibility by proving the viability of three-wheeled vehicles, the same way Candela proved the viability of electric hydrofoils,” Tice said.
Poseidon’s vehicle is currently in pre-prototype and current images consist of computer generated packaging and do not reflect what the final product will look like.
“Until we get the first million dollars, we’re not going to trigger the detailed design and build of the prototype,” Tice said.
Poseidon is currently looking for that first million dollars on the Start Engine crowdsourcing site.
If successful, the company is looking to disrupt the niche amphibious vehicle market with a $100,000 price tag for its Trident models. Langesfeld – who previously sold WaterCar-branded amphibious vehicles, which are priced over $465,000 – said the Trident is priced similar to recreational boats “when you take into account that you also have to buy a truck that can tow and a trailer and a place to keep those things and fuel. My idea is to market something that makes more sense.
Tice said previous amphibious vehicles made so little sense that many are no longer made because they pollute, are unreliable, difficult to maintain, and the price makes them “more of a toy for the rich than a solution.” “.
Poseidon vehicles, he said, can be a solution for a variety of use cases – recreation, emergency water rescue, yacht tender and commercial uses like taxis.
“I think San Diego needs a project like this. It’s all going in the right direction – getting the water and air pollution out and there are commercial uses,” Tice said. I can see taxis driving through Coronado in a few of these.”
The vehicles will offer several benefits for these uses, such as the ability to flat tow it behind an RV or truck for adventure camping. Unlike electric boats that depend on regular power from docks to recharge, the Poseidon can get out of the water and recharge quickly at any charging station. And for people living in flood-prone areas, it can operate in depths of 6 to 12 inches “with its wheels down,” he added.
Although Poseidon is still in its early stages of fundraising and development, the company has already made progress with a preliminary mechanical design, with computational fluid dynamics on the foil and thrusters completed. Also, engineering methods were chosen and vendors were chosen, Tice said.
Besides crowdsourcing, Poseidon is also seeking institutional funding from synergistic public companies such as electric boat or outboard motor companies, Tice said.
In addition to Munro, the firm also has several other key advisors, including Jeffrey Bowles of DLBA Architects, an expert in developing high performance craft; Marcello Benbassat, former director of international business development at GIBBS Sports Amphibians; Jim Burns, electric vehicle powertrain pioneer and co-founder of Transpower; and Craig Ellis, composite manufacturing expert for aerospace and automotive.
Langesfeld is confident in the team together and in his choice of Tice as a partner in his vision, even if he is not Elon Musk.
“With the two of us, we can make it happen and bring it to market,” he said.
Poseidon AmphibWorks Corporation
CEO: Steve Tice
Headquarters: San Diego
Business: Amphibious electric vehicles
Note: Poseidon is the only company to offer an EV amphibious hydrofoil today.