Will The Boat Go Electric?

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Written
7 Sep 2022

If you are interested to know, will the boat go electric? If yes, keep reading the post till the end. Here in this article we will discuss electric boat motors, how they work and also about the manufacturer of electric boats.

Are you thinking of purchasing an electric boat motor instead of a gas-powered one? It's hardly surprising that many boaters are interested in electric boats, given the widespread availability of electric vehicles on the roads nowadays.

Although electric boat motors have been around for quite some time, the technology behind them has made significant strides in recent years, resulting in more powerful motors, batteries that last for longer periods, and, ultimately, more options for owners of recreational boats.

Today, an electric propulsion system can be installed in various boats, such as sailboats, Jon boats, powerboats, fishing boats, yachts, and trawlers. Pontoon boats are also among the boats equipped with such a system. You should be able to find an electric replacement for your boat's combustion engine if its power output falls within the range of.75 to 100 kW (1 to 135 horsepower).

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Even though electric boating has not yet reached its mainstream stage, it is estimated that only about 2% of recreational boats are electric; now is an excellent time to consider making the switch, particularly if you own a tender, sailboat, or boat on a green lake where combustion engines are not allowed.

So keep reading to know will the boat go electric?

What Are Electric Boats and How Do They Work?

To put it another way, electric boat motors are boats that propel themselves with an electric engine driven by a battery rather than a combustion engine powered by gas. They are available in a range of different models. These boats come in various styles, from fishing skiffs to luxury yachts to leisure cruisers.

The following is some information regarding electric-powered boats:

Energy from a Battery

  • The batteries, typically lithium-ion, are available in various capacities. Kilowatts are the unit used to measure them. The more available kilowatts, the more power can be supplied to the engine.
  • After each use, the batteries need to have their charge restored. This can be accomplished by making use of a standard electrical outlet.
  • The lifespan of the battery bank is determined by factors such as the size of the boat's motor, weight, dimensions, and the primary purpose it serves.

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Engines that Electricity powers

  • The battery provides the energy for the electric power outboard motor. Every one thousand watts of engine power equals three horsepower of conventional engine power.
  • Because there is no need to add fluids or oils to an electric engine, the upkeep and maintenance requirements are significantly reduced.
  • An electric boat's top speed can range from 5 knots per hour to 35–50 knots in the most advanced and high-tech electric foiling yachts. Electric boats are becoming increasingly popular.
  • The boat will travel at a quicker speed if it has a greater amount of battery juice. As battery technology advances, manufacturers will be able to produce batteries that are more powerful and take up less space, resulting in enhanced capability in electric boats.

The Pros and Cons of Electric Boat

Pros

1. Low Noise Level

The low noise makes it an ideal environment for watching wildlife, fishing or simply relaxing while boating.

2. Environmentally Friendly

Electric boats do not produce any odorous emissions, carbon dioxide, or nitrous oxide, and there is no risk of oil leaks. This makes electric boats environmentally friendly.

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3. Instant Torque

Instant torque means that it is capable of responding very quickly to acceleration.

4. Low Maintenance

Regular engine maintenance is unnecessary, there is no need to check or top off fluids, and the vehicle does not require winterisation.

5. Low operating costs

The battery may be charged for just a few dollars each by being plugged in overnight at a standard 110-volt power outlet (or even more quickly with a rapid charger).

6. Recent advances in technology

With the newly added Wi-Fi connectivity, owners can use an app to check the power levels and start the engine.

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Cons

1. Initial cost

Electric boats continue to command a premium price compared to other types of boats at this time. Similar to electric automobiles, however, as their market share grows and the technology matures, prices will begin to fall, and competition will increase.

2. Charging stations required

Yachts must be towed or moored in a location with access to electrical hookups.

3. No overnight or deep-sea excursions

At this time, there is no electric boat battery bank that has enough lifespan for extended journeys.

Types of Electric Boat

Smaller electric motors were some of the earliest electric outboards to hit the market for recreational boating. These engines were typically installed aboard fishing boats and utilised as trolling motors.

Nowadays, it is possible to purchase far more powerful electric outboard motors in the range of 1 to 80 horsepower (.75 to 60 kW), and each year sees the introduction of even more powerful variants into the market. Vision Marine Technologies introduced the E-Motion 180E, a beast of an electric outboard with a horsepower rating of 180, in the year 2021.

The range that may be achieved with electric outboard boat motors is highly variable and is determined by factors such as the total weight of the boat, the propeller, and the battery's capacity.

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The range might also be affected by the speed you want to travel at. You'll be able to cover a lot more ground if you take things gently.

Electric outboard motors have many advantages, one of which is the ability to run on energy derived from renewable sources. You could, for instance, gain an additional push for the journey back home by plugging your boat into a portable solar panel while you are picnicking. It's even possible for some electric outboard boat engines to create their electricity! Batteries can be charged by motors equipped with hydro regeneration capability even when the boat is under sail or towing behind another vessel.

1. Electric outboard manufacturers

These electric outboard boat motor manufacturers service the North American market. They range from small startups to huge corporations and are listed below. Suppose you are interested in learning more about what each of these companies offers (and how they stack up against one another). In that case, I strongly suggest that you check out the electric outboard guides and directories that Plugboats provide. The editor at Plugboats, Jeff Butler, has done an excellent job of gathering motor specifications from around the industry.

Bixby

Bixby is a company that manufactures a small electric motor system that can be installed on kayaks, inflatable boats, canoes, and paddleboards. The company's headquarters are located in San Diego, California.

Elco

Elco has been manufacturing electric motors for the past 125 years, and some of its customers include Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. Their electric motors range from 5 to 50 horsepower and have won numerous awards. The Lake George, New York, location of the company's headquarters is where its electric motors are manufactured, and these motors can be found aboard boats worldwide.

ePropulsion

Electric motors ranging from 3 to 9.9 horsepower are produced by ePropulsion in Guangdong, China. These motors can be installed in sailboats, fishing boats, dinghies, and tenders. They are all equipped with capabilities for hydro regeneration.

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Minn Kota

If you are a fisherman, you have probably heard of the brand Minn Kota. Since 1934, this company, which originates in the fishing communities of Minnesota and North Dakota fishing communities, has been manufacturing electric trolling motors.

Torqeedo

Torqeedo, a company based in Germany, has been at the forefront of the propulsion business for many years and is known for producing some of the most reliable electric outboard motors ranging from 1 to 80 horsepower.

2. Hybrid Electric Boat

Any combination of an internal combustion engine and an electric motor can be considered a hybrid marine propulsion system. Solar panels, wind generators, combustion engine generators, and towed water generators are several methods that can generate electricity individually or in combination. An electric solution that utilises solar panels is appealing because of the minimal carbon imprint it leaves behind and the low running expenses it imposes. Many iterations of these systems have been gaining popularity on alternative energy vessels.

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Marine hybrid manufacturers

Elco Motor Yachts

Elco produces serial and parallel systems, in addition to one that combines the two in a combined serial-parallel architecture. Their systems are adaptable to a wide range of vessels, including sailboats, trawlers, yachts, and boats of up to 85 feet in length.

Oceanvolt

Oceanvolt, a company based in Finland, produces hybrid serial systems that are available for both sailboats and powerboats.

Torqeedo

Torqeedo manufactures hybrid propulsion systems in the range of 25 to 100 kW, which are suitable for both high-powered motor boats and yachts up to 120 feet in length.

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3. Electric inboard boat motors

Electric inboard engines have a range that varies, similar to outboards, depending on the boat, the load, the battery's size, and the boat's speed (among other things).

On the other hand, if you go with an inboard, you can choose a hybrid motor, which can greatly increase your range.

Sailing enthusiasts should also consider selecting an inboard electric motor with hydro regeneration capabilities. The battery can be charged by these electric power motors even while sails are propelling the boat.

Electric inboard manufacturers

Elco

Elco Motor Yachts, an Elco US business, has been manufacturing electric motors for over 125 years. The company started in 1893 by delivering electric boats for the Chicago World's Fair. Elco has been a leader in the electric motor industry.

Torqeedo

The German company Torqeedo is the market leader in producing electric boat motors. They provide two distinct lines of inboards: one for boats that move water slowly and another for boats that move quickly through the water.

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Oceanvolt

Sailing enthusiasts are big fans of Oceanvolt's electric inboard motors, as the company is a pioneer in regenerative systems. They provide shaft drive systems with horsepower ratings ranging from 6 to 25.

Batteries

Although a standard lead-acid battery can be used to power an electric motor, there are many advantages to switching to lithium-ion batteries. Their increased functional capacity is nearly twice that of a lead-acid battery of comparable size. Greater battery power translates to longer boating distances and more enjoyment.

They also last longer than lead-acid batteries and charge more quickly. Lithium-ion batteries require almost no care, unlike flooded lead-acid batteries, which must be irrigated.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How durable are electric boat motors?

A lithium-ion battery for an electric outboard will need to be replaced after 10 to 15 years. Lithium-ion batteries often have a longer lifespan than other types of batteries. For an electric outboard, AGM batteries, for instance, have a lifespan of 4 to 6 years.

2. Do outboards with electric starts require batteries?

The electric starter is the only device that uses the battery. This is what? Furthermore, your outboard motor must have isolated ends on the battery wires to function without being attached to a battery. The coil and diode will be harmed if the + and - cables come into contact.

3. How safe are electric boats?

On a boat, electric shock can be quite dangerous, especially if the boat is at sea. Many individuals are unaware that maritime switches, panels, and outlets can also put them in danger of electric shock, even though most people are aware of watching out for wires when it comes to electric shock.

4. How much power does a boat consume?

A typical 45-foot cruising yacht uses 150 amp-hours per day while at sea. A good battery-bank design allows for a capacity of 540 amp-hours, three times the daily average usage, plus a 20% factor to account for battery ageing.

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Wrapping Up

Inboards and outboards powered by gasoline or diesel fuel are being phased out in favour of more eco-friendly and cutting-edge alternatives: electric boat motors. They produce less noise, have no emissions, are completely clean, and require almost no maintenance. So after reading this post you will get to know will the boat go electric?

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