Mercury Marine is launching an electric outboard in 2022

This content is from Plugboats – “everything electric boats and boating”

The much anticipated Mercury electric outboard created a big buzz with its unveiling at the Miami International Boat Show last week. The motor on display was a concept model designed to showcase the main features of the new line – named ‘Avator‘ – with the formal release and models for sale coming later this year.

There has been a lot of talk since last year about one of the world’s largest gas outboard manufacturers going electric. Mercury Marine President Chris Drees said at the company’s Investor Day in May of 2021 that “We’ll launch five new electric outboard models by 2023, and intend to be the market leader in both conventional and electric marine propulsion by the end of that year.”

Roughly 1 out of every 2 boats in the U.S. recreational boat fleet are powered by Mercury products, and the company has a tradition of innovation that goes back to the first Thunderbolt gas outboard in 1947. So when they put their technical people on a new project, they are bringing unique experience and expertise.

Mercury electric outboard features swappable battery

Full view of Mercury electric outboardThey also have 80 years of customer feedback. Talking about the Avator concept, Drees said “Our team is taking everything we know about how consumers use our products and incorporating it into Avator, creating an electric propulsion system that will set a new benchmark for the marine industry.”

One of the features of the Avator that stands out compared to other electric outboards is a battery pack that slips in and out of the top of the cowling’s hinged ‘lid’.

Just as with electric vehicles, the idea of range is one of the main psychological barriers for consumers who are used to fossil fuel motors. The Avator’s swappable battery is a tidy and easy solution. An extra battery can be taken aboard and double the range in seconds.

The batteries are taken home to charge from a home outlet, which also adds to the portability of the unit as a whole. It can also be charged from a marina pillar, of course.

Tim Reid, Mercury Marine vice president of product development & engineering says “We believe features like easily changeable batteries and quiet operation hold great appeal for current and prospective boaters.”

“Broad portfolio of low-horsepower outboards”

Naturally, people are also interested in what kind of power will be available with the Avator electric outboard line. In response to questions on the Mercury Marine YouTube channel, the company has said:

We can’t speak to horsepower quite yet, since we are still developing the product. We can tell you we’re excited about the possibilities that the Avator series will provide. This initial concept will have applications for fishing, cruising and nature watching.

The concept is representative of a broader portfolio of low-horsepower outboards Mercury will launch later this year and next. Additional offerings will have applications for use on many small boats, including pontoons, tenders and sailboats, as well as for improving access to boating in areas where traditional fuel sources aren’t available or allowed.

You can sign up to receive Avator updates on the Mercury Marine website.

Digital connectivity new for gas outboard owners

Another benefit of the  Avator that will be new to gas outboard users is the digital connectivity that an electric system provides. This is another area where Mercury being part of the Brunswick corporation brings a lot of value.

Mercury electric outboard diigistal screenThe Brunswick ASG (Advanced Systems Group) division includes companies like Simrad, C-Map, and C-Zone that are global leaders in things like charting, autopilot and digital control and monitoring. Other companies in the division include the lithium-ion battery experts at Mastervolt and RELion.

“Electrification is strategically important to us, and this concept provides a first look at how we intend to deliver on our commitment to being the industry leader in both internal combustion products and electric propulsion,” says Drees. “We are taking efficiency to a new level, opening up new ways to enjoy the boating experience.”

Check out the videos below for a run through of the Mercury electric outboard look and features, comments from Chris Drees and an interview from the Miami Boat Show with Jim Hergert, Senior Category Manager of Mercury Marine.

BCI Marine bringing electric boat fast chargers to Canada

This content is from Plugboats – “everything electric boats and boating”

It has been quite a year already for Aqua superPower’s network of electric boat fast chargers: expansion to Canada, Italy and Spain coming on the heels of installations with the UK’s largest marina operator.

The mission of Aqua superPower is to “reduce the impact of boating on the marine environment through the development of an all-electric and integrated global ecosystem of marine superchargers.” Theirs are the first superchargers to be specifically engineered and rated for use in marine environments, built to IP65 standards and constructed using Hydro CIRCAL recycled aluminium.

world map of electric boat fast chargers networkThe electric boat fast chargers have AC and DC 25kW-150kW power and can be used for everything from recreational electric and hybrid boats to electric jet-skis, super yacht tenders, commercial vessels and passenger ferries. Aqua will own, operate, and maintain the network with their own cloud-based system and users have an app with maps of charger options and navigational aids to charger locations.

Alex Bamberg, CEO of Aqua superPower, says “In the marine environment, access to charging infrastructure that offers a reliable plug & charge experience, with features like charge point visibility, is absolutely essential if we are to develop the confidence to transition away from polluting liquid carbon fuels.”

Monaco, Mediterranean, MDL and Miami

The first Aqua superPower chargers were installed in 2019 in Monaco, as the flagship in a network extending along the Mediterranean to ports like Cannes and St. Tropez. In 2021 they received a grant from the UK’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition and were showcased at the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow for their work with the Marine e-Charging Living Lab (MeLL) in Plymouth.

A few weeks later MDL Marinas signed up with Aqua to have the electric boat fast chargers installed at five UK marinas with a total of 1,721 boat berths. There is a big upside to this, as MDL manages over 7,000 berths and operates 20 major marinas and boatyards in the UK and Europe.

In February of 2022 at the Miami International Boat Show‘s new Charged! Electric Pavilion, Aqua superPower was one of the lead exhibitors, along with the Nautique GS22E electric water sport boat and the Vision Marine Technologies E-Motion 180E electric outboard.

Speaking about North American opportunities, CEO Bamberg said “While the marine sector may lag others in terms of deployment, the massive growth of electric vehicles on the highway has proved that electrification is the way forward. The requirement for a joined-up network of reliable and fast marine chargers to create charging hubs and corridors for electric boat users is absolutely crucial if we are to secure the transition away from liquid carbon fuels.”

While there has not yet been a major announcement for an Aqua superPower network in the US market, the expectation is there will be an announcement soon as Aqua partners and expands in other countries.

Electric boat fast chargers for Canada, Italy, Spain

Canada: January 11, 2022

Aqua superPower announced an agreement with BCI Marine to have the superchargers installed at BCI partner locations. The provinces of Ontario and Quebec in central Canada will be the first to receive the chargers, with the first expected to be in place for the launch of the Canadian summer boating season in mid-May.

“We know that for the electric boat market to truly launch in Canada, a conveniently available super charging network is essential” says Patrick Hardy, President of BCI Marine.

“We introduced the all-electric X-Shore EELEX 8000 to the Canadian market last fall, with other electric brands to be launched soon. Other electric boat builders will come to market too, so strategically, BCI Marine taking the initiative to introduce electric boat fast chargers is the right, responsible, and logical next step, for the Canadian consumer, and marine dealers.”

Italy: March 1, 2022

electric boat fast charger on pillar in Venice

In Italy Aqua has announced a strategic partnership with e-concept, creators of the electric boat chargers that have been designed to look like the traditional wooden mooring posts – ‘palina’ – used for centuries on the canals of Venice. They will be working together to install public Type 2 AC charging infrastructure in Venice, other inland waterways and European lakes.

Both e-concept and Aqua superPower were at the Venice e-Regatta last June and their agreement to work together will make a compelling electric boat charging solution for the many installations where environmental, cultural and heritage factors need to be considered.

“We look forward to working with Aqua on the integration of their hardware and software within our product for AC systems and are proud for our technology to be part of the world’s first marine fast charging network.” said Matteo Bartoli, co-founder of e-concept.

Spain: March 3, 2022

The Catalan Association of Tourist Marinas (ACPET) has partnered with Aqua superPower to promote the creation of a network of connected marine fast-charging services for its members, which account for 87% of all port concessions granted in Catalonia.

Representatives from Aqua superPower and ACPET shake hands

Through the partnership, Aqua superPower will supply and install its high-power smart grid marine chargers at no cost to the site owner/operator, creating an infrastructure for electric boats and charging corridors along the 580 km (360 mi) of Catalonia’s coastline.

“At ACPET we want to help our members achieve their sustainability and decarbonization goals. We’re delighted to be partnering with Aqua superPower to be able to support people wishing to make their boating more sustainable by offering rapid charging and network infrastructure for electric boat users across our marinas.” says Albert Bertran, President of ACPET.

Fast electric boat chargers for fast electric boats

This growth by Aqua is definitely impressive, but also just a hint of what is to come. A report from IDTechEx estimates that “the market for hybrid and pure electric boats and ships will rise rapidly to over $20 billion worldwide in 2027“.  Assuming the boat market continues to grow in line with historical trends, it is likely there will be more than 1 million electric boats by 2030. They all need to be charged somewhere!

The other part of the story is that the market for electric boats in the past was largely for low kiloWatt cruising models with owners happy to charge the batteries overnight. There is increasing demand for high power motors and the desire to quickly charge and get back out on the water. (As a quick glance through the ‘Recreational Boats‘ category of Plugboats will show).

As Aqua superPower’s Alex Bamberg points out, “When you’re asking a consumer to make a significant investment in an electric boat, you want to assure them they can have the charging that suits their lifestyle.”

The Limestone Boat Company and Vision Marine showcase EV Partnership at the Toronto International Virtual Boat Show

Aquasport 21 Centre Console boat
This content is from Plugboats – “everything electric boats and boating”

The Limestone Boat Company will be celebrating their EV partnership with Vision Marine Technologies at The Toronto International Virtual Boat Show.

The company’s goal through this partnership is to provide customers with reliable and dependable, yet disruptive, EV marine product offerings.

The initial plan is to offer the Aquasport 21-foot Center Console followed by the Limestone® 25-foot models with Vision’s 180 HP electric outboard as an additional engine option offering.

During the show customers can obtain further information about electric outboards, Vision Marine Technologies, and The Limestone Boat Company’s plans for EV technology integration.

The Toronto International Boat Show recently announced that their show would be moving to a virtual format, taking place January 26th- 30th, 2022.

A virtual show setting allows for The Limestone Boat Company to showcase the full model offerings for both Limestone® Boats and Aquasport Boats, as well as provide updates regarding their EV partnership with Vision Marine Technologies and imminent product testing.

Additionally, customers visiting either the Limestone Boats or Aquasport Boats virtual booths can connect to discuss further interest via email and phone.

The show hours are 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, however the full model lineups and all their assets will be available for viewing throughout the entirety of the show dates.

Vision Marine developing custom electric outboard batteries

This content is from Plugboats – “everything electric boats and boating”

Vision Marine is partnering with Octillion Power Systems to develop customized high voltage 35 kWh electric outboard batteries as the energy source for their E-Motion 180e powertrain.

This is the latest step for Vision Marine in optimizing procurement, manufacture and assembly for commercial scale production. In October of 2021 they announced an agreement with Linamar Corporation subsidiary McLaren Engineering for the testing, manufacture, and assembly of the powertrains.

“There is currently a two year delivery backlog of performance batteries in the boating industry” said Alexandre Mongeon, co-founder and CEO of Vision Marine. “The Octillion agreement will allow Vision Marine to continue to scale production and secure the quantities of high density electric battery systems required in conjunction with the commencement of sales of our E- Motion outboard powertrains.”

Over 4.5 billion kilometres of EV experience

Octillion was founded in 2009 to design and build lithium-ion battery systems for electric cars, trucks and buses. They have delivered nearly 400,000 electric vehicle battery systems for the global market, with more than 4.5 billion kilometers driven on Octillion battery systems. The agreement with Vision Marine is the company’s first in the marine market.

One of the key strengths of Octillion is that it is “cell agnostic”. To explain what that means: The batteries used in EVs and e-boats need to have high voltage and high energy storage capacity and are constructed out of hundreds (sometimes thousands) of individual cells connected into modules which are then connected to make the final battery pack.

electric outboard batteriesMost companies work with only one kind of cell, but Octillion chooses the best cells for the application and then builds them into customized packs. This means that the electric outboard batteries and accompanying Battery Management system (BMS) will be specifically designed to fit into the high performance powerboats of both Vision Marine and their boat manufacturing partners.

Paul Beach, President of Octillion, said “The E-Motion platform offers an unparalleled boating experience when compared to traditional fuel powered systems. These new platforms will encompass both state-of-the-art energy density rich solutions as well as extreme high power options.”

Electric outboard batteries for new boats and refits

The proprietary systems are being designed to match the dimensions of high performance powerboats and pontoons ranging from 18 to 30 feet, with narrow hulls and compartments. Vision Marine has orders and Letters of Intent from boat manufacturers throughout the USA, including Limestone, who they made an agreement with last year.

Estimates show about 70,000 pontoon boats are expected to be sold in the United States in 2022, and approximately 380,000 outboard motors. Another advantage of the Octillion design is that the configuration of the battery pack is smaller than a typical fuel tank, making it easier to electrify an existing boat.

Vision Marine Technologies began life as the Canadian Electric Boat Company in 1995 and rebranded in December of 2019 with a $27.5M IPO on the NASDAQ Exchange. For many years, they manufactured and marketed lightly powered cruising style boats but were one of the first to move into high performance models.

Bruce 22 electric speed record boatTheir Bruce 22 has set the speed record for electric boats at the famous Lake of the Ozarks Shootout for the past three years – most recently beating their own best mark last August with a speed of 49 mph / 78 kmh achieved with an E-Motion 180e in back.

Other companies are now joining them in the high power electric outboard arena, like Norway’s Evoy, Denmark’s EPTechnologies and Flux Marine in the US. Then there are the electric wakeboard and towsport boats like the Ingenity Nautique GS22E and Arc One, which use high power electric inboards.

All of them require batteries that not only provide the ability to hit top speeds, but also give owners lots of quality time on the lake without having to head in for constant recharging. New technologies and customized solutions like the Vision Marine/Octillion collaboration are leading the way.

Vision Marine scales up for mass production of E-Motion electric outboard

Vision Marine electric outboard
This content is from Plugboats – “everything electric boats and boating”

To meet growing demand for the high power E-Motion electric outboard, Vision Marine Technologies has partnered with the McLaren Engineering division of Linamar Corporation, an automotive parts manufacturer and supplier with 60 plants operating around the world.

The flagship 180E, with its power rating of 180 HP / 135 kW,  has been making news since its first sea trial this past May, shown in the video below.

Vision Marine first announced it was developing its proprietary power train in November of 2020 when it launched an initial public offering of shares (IPO) on the NASDAQ Market. The company sees a major opportunity in offering the outboard system – which includes the battery pack and inverter – not only to the public, but also to boat manufacturers.

Earlier this year they signed an agreement to supply Limestone Boats with the motors, starting working with Hellkats Powerboats to rig one of their Super-Sport Widebody Catamarans with twin E-Motions for challenging the world electric boat speed record, and did break the race record for electric boats at the famous Lake of The Ozarks Shootout in August.

Visin Marine pontoon boatWith the reopening of in-person boat shows this fall, Vision Marine has been able to showcase the system for the public and boat manufacturers. The IBEX show is North America’s largest trade event for recreational marine products. Vision Marine took the opportunity to mount the E-Motion 180E on a Starcraft EX 22 pontoon boat and demonstrate that the quiet of high power electric propulsion is not just for speedboats.

The agreement with Linamar is a huge step in preparing for mass production of the outboards. The company started with a single lathe in founder Frank Hasenfratz’s basement 55 years ago and now has 26,000 employees worldwide.

Linamar has major manufacturing and design capabilities focusing on products for general industry and agriculture, and another division focusing on Mobility – which encompasses everything from transmissions and auto parts to a new eLin electrification group.

E-Motion electric outboard to be mass-produced at Linamar facility

Under that, the McLaren Engineering subsidiary provides design, development, and testing services within the Mobility segment and the manufacturing side does light metal casting, forging, machining and assembly. Linamar will manufacture and assemble the E-Motion technology through testing, parts, tooling development, and designing the union assembly for mass production at Linamar’s facility in Canada.

Alex Mongeon“This agreement with Linamar via our affiliation with McLaren Engineering, is a seminal event for fully scaled commercialization of our E-Motion powertrain,” said Alexandre Mongeon, Vision Marine CEO and co-founder. “We have proven the diverse capabilities of and demand for our game changing technology and our partnership positions us to scale production for growing demand from major boating OEMs.”

CTO Mark Stoddart, CTO of Linamar, said “This is a unique opportunity for McLaren Engineering to lend its honed expertise in Vision Marine’s proprietary maritime electric powertrain system for OEMs.” Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz underlined how excited the company is to develop the precise manufacturing capability and protocols for the E-Motion electric outboards and help “transition boating propulsion to a safe and clean EV industry.”

The E-Motion 180E system includes the 180 HP (135 kW) motor, 60 kWh battery pack and BMS (battery mangement system), charger, monitor, throttle controls and all other necessary components.  Estimated range is 70 miles at a cruising speed of 20 mph or 3.5 hours, depending on the of boat, weather conditions, load and propeller. The complete package goes for about $79,000, including $27,000 for the motor.

For more information and pre-ordering, you can download a brochure from the Vision Marine Technology website.

Vision Marine to supply Limestone Boat electric powertrains

Limestone Boats

Another established boat builder jumps on board the e-train with the Limestone Boat electric drive being supplied by Vision Marine Technologies. Both companies are well known in Canadian boating and both have set their eyes in the past year on increasing their sales in the larger North American and world markets.

In December Vision Marine went public with an Initial Public Offering and listing on the NASDAQ exchange. A few months before that, in late September 2020, Limestone was purchased by marine industry veteran Scott Hanson and a team of partners and is now traded on the Toronto Venture Exchange.

Vision Marine electric outboardsOne of the big announcements with Vision Marine’s NASDAQ listing was that it would be expanding from its longstanding business of building electric boats (it was established as the Canadian Electric Boat Company in 1995) to developing and marketing its new E-Motion Electric Outboard Powertrain. The company still offers 4 electric boat models: the Volt, Bruce, Fantail and Quietude.

Limestone Boat will order a minimum of 25 of the E-Motion powertrains over the next 12 months as the initial step in its plans to significantly scale its electric boat footprint. The agreement includes Vision Marine investing $2.8M USD in Limestone through a convertible debenture.

Limestone is a heritage boat brand in Canada, with a distinctive hull renowned for its big water performance and a series of models developed by renowned designer Mark Ellis since the 1980s. Its headquarters are in Ontario, Canada and it has a 145,000 sq. ft. US manufacturing facility in Tennessee.

The goal for electrification is to focus on the 20’ to 29’ market for its stable of brands that include Limestone, Aquasport, and Boca Bay. Limestone expects to sell up to 550 boats in the 2022 calendar year.

EPA cleaner waterways good for Limestone Boat electric push

Among the things that should help in the electrification efforts is the focus by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on cleaning up U.S. waterways. Also, Vision Marine is the only electric boat engine technology company with certifications from the European Conformity, the United States Coast Guard and the Canadian Coast Guard.

Vision Marine’s new E-Motion 180-E is the first fully electric 180 HP outboard powertrain system available to the boating market, with continuous power of 110 kiloWatts. Speaking about the Limestone agreement, Alexandre Mongeon, CEO and co-founder of Vision Marine said “I am very excited about this contract and our partnership with Limestone, as it marks the beginning of the commercialization of Vision Marine’s E-Motion powertrain, the world’s most powerful electric outboard powertrains available on the market today.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Vision Marine.” said Limestone CEO Hanson. “This partnership provides us with a leading technological advantage as we move to establish Limestone and Vision Marine as leaders in transitioning the recreational boating industry to electric powertrains.”

Pride Marine Group brings Frauscher boats to Canada

Frauscher GT 1017 boat

Frauscher Boats of Austria and Pride Marine Group are excited to make their legendary boats available in Ontario and Eastern Canada. A Frauscher 858 Fantom and a 1017 GT are going to be available for test rides this summer!

From the Frauscher website:

Pride Marine Group has decided that Frauscher boats will complement the existing boat brand portfolio and fill a gap in the market for ultra luxury boats. The Frauscher shipyard demonstrated that they are willing to carve the wave for the future of boating by introducing new innovations, revolutionary technology while honouring a state of the art design that turns heads. Both companies are family owned and operated, which creates a personal touch and special relationship with their boat owners.

Paul Nickel, Pride Marine:
Our companies align by both being family owned and operated, providing high quality – unique and well-crafted boats – and always seeking to offer innovative and bespoke solutions for boaters in Ontario, Canada. Here we are met by the unique boats from Frauscher.

Stefan Frauscher, Frauscher shipyard:
We are very much looking forward to be working with Pride. Being positioned in the top segment, we are constantly challenged with a high level of expectations and request from our clients. In this respect, Paul Nickel has turned out to be an ideal representative for Frauscher. Him and his team are market experts and have always being able to adapt to outperform the industry.

The Frauscher shipyard has a vision of engineering emotions, Pride Marine Group has a vision of creating personalized watercraft experiences. Together both of their visions are accomplished.

Pride Marine Group is a family owned and operated business. They are Canada’s largest marine dealer. Offering a large variety of exclusive boat brands across Ontario and Eastern Canada, Pride Marine Group is able to provide a high quality selection of boats in the most desired cottage and boating destinations available. Being family run, they bring a personal touch to sales & service, and are passionate about creating an unforgettable boat ownership experience for each customer.

This electric boat goes 56 miles an hour

Jonny Lee Tempest is an inventor, investor, retired Cirque Du Soleil Audio Engineer, certified Entertainment Electrician (ETCP-CEE) and member of MENSA.

He has owned 6 Tesla cars, has an unquenchable and insatiable thirst for doing things in new ways, and is passionate about figuring out how the future can be free of fossil fuel emissions.

Most to the point for the Electric Boat Association, he designed and built the world’s fastest pure solar electric boat. It goes 54 miles an hour and pulls a waterskier instantaneously with unmatched torque and silence. 

Jonny Lee is also the founder of Net Positive, or N+, which has built a simple piece of hardware coupled with learning piece of software that helps people worry less about their energy usage, while makring their energy usage mre efficient.

You can find out more about Net Positive and how its solutions can be applied to your need on their »» website.

But before you go, check out these videos. The first shows Jonny’s electric boat rocketing along the water (almost silently) at 56 miles per hours, 48 kilometres per hour: 90 KNOTS!.

The second shows how he went about building/adapting boat motor technology to achieve this amazing accomplishment.


Big power boost for torqeedo motors, batteries

Germany-based torqeedo definitely makes the most stylish electric boat motors available and is a leader in performance durability as well.

Now they have increased the power on their top-end Deep Blue line of inboard and outboard motors with the introduction of 100kW motors. The 100kW motors are comparable to a 150HP fossil fuel motor.

The motors come in two versions: a low-rpm version for displacement boats and a high-rpm version for planing boats.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

More powerful batteries developed with BMW

In addition, the company has launched an upgraded, higher capacity 40 kWh battery that features 30% more capacity in the same footprint and an energy density of 144 Wh per kg.

The battery has been developed in the course of adapting BMW’s i3 electric car batteries for the marine market. Among other things, the companies are partners in the ‘Malizia’, a 60’ racing yacht being optimized for the world’s toughest solo sporting competition, the Vendee Globe in 2020.

The 30% increase in energy and energy density will also extend to torqeedo’s 24V batteries, used for their line of outboard ‘Cruise’ motors. Based on the new capacity, the 24V battery gets a new name: Power 24-3500, featuring an impressive energy density of 138 Wh per kg.

Indonesian eco-dive resort goes all e-boat

MahaRaja EcoDive in Indonesia

From Eco-Business

A new eco dive resort in Raja Ampat has become the first to launch e-boats, an important step in the race to protect the world’s most biodiverse coral reefs.

Competition is healthy among the eco resorts of Indonesia’s most famous dive destination, Raja Ampat. And MahaRaja Eco Dive Lodge, which only opened 8 months ago, has just scored an important claim to fame.

The small luxury resort is the first in Raja Ampat—and possibly the first in Indonesia—to electrify its dive boats.

MahaRaja has fitted two traditional Papuan long boats with electric engines, beating rival sustainability-minded dive resorts such as Kri Eco Resort, which also has plans to build e-boats, to launch vessels that don’t pollute.

“We are the first [resort] to launch e-boats, and we sincerely hope the others will follow,” MahaRaja’s founder Mahasti Motazedi, a French former aeronautics engineer and Microsoft sales executive, tells Eco-Business.

With tourism growing rapidly Raja Ampat—although remote and expensive, visitor numbers have grown by 1,300 per cent in under a decade—the region’s reefs, the world’s most biodiverse, will hope she’s right.

»» Read the whole article at EcoBusiness