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Arizona company to launch electric-powered raft on Colorado River

(Courtesy of Colorado River Discovery)

PHOENIX — An Arizona company is going to mark the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service by introducing a new, completely electric raft used to travel down the Colorado River.

Colorado River Discovery, a group that takes tourists on trips down the Colorado River, has been working on the raft for 10 years. The raft is named Helios, in homage to the God of the Sun in Greek mythology.

“A company called Torqeedo, which is based in Germany, developed an incredibly efficient, 100-percent electric outboard motor that we have put on this raft,” Korey Seyler, general manager at Colorado River Discovery, said.

(Courtesy of Colorado River Discovery)

(Courtesy of Colorado River Discovery)

Seyler said the raft will not produce any emissions and will run from power from a charging station at Glen Canyon Dam.

“It’s actually produced by hydroelectric power that charges this, so that’s what brings the zero emissions out,” he said.

The company has been setting aside money since 2006 to pay for the raft, Seyler said.

“We’ve actually set aside $1.50 for each guest we take down the river over the past 10 years in order to help with the research, development, and manufacturing of this raft,” he said.

Seyler said customers can start riding the raft this spring after its official launch on Earth Day, Apr. 22.

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