Tohatsu, Ilmor Partner

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When Tohatsu looked to launch a new electric outboard, it decided to partner with Ilmor Marine. The decision makes plenty of sense considering Illmor Marine has built its reputation on high-performance engineering solutions.

The collaboration between Tohatsu and Ilmor centers around a new line of electric products with a 6kW outboard. This electric outboard includes an integrated tilt and trim, a gauge-style touch screen for centralized system operations, and multiple variants in both shafts and props.

“We wanted to learn how to design an electric motor,” said Paul Ray, president of Ilmor Engineering. “The biggest challenge was the learning steps of what it takes to design an electric motor. Like any engineering process, you expect to fail but each iteration the process makes it better and better.”

Ilmor spent about 18 months designing and developing the Tohatsu electric outboard before it was showcased at the 2024 Miami International Boat Show.

“The partnership with Ilmor Engineering represents a significant milestone in Tohatsu’s journey,” Tohatsu President Isami Hyuga said. “Together, we are embarking on a transformative venture to introduce an electric outboard that not only meets the expectations of our loyal customers but also sets new benchmarks for the industry.”

Tohatsu is one of Japan’s top outboard producers, so expanding its electric offerings is a natural extension. Ilmor Marine had introduced a 6kW outboard at the Miami Boat Show in 2023.

At this year’s Miami show, Tohatsu unveiled a 4.0kW electric outboard it designed and developed set to be released in 2025. The 4.0kW electric outboard will be designed to produce similar acceleration as a Tohatsu four-stroke 8-hp outboard. It will be offered in tiller or remote steering with an option of 15-inch short shaft, 20-inch-long shaft, and 25-inch ultra-long shaft for a variety of boat types.

“Our electric propulsion series will kick off with the 6.0kW electric outboard this year with a partnership with Ilmor Marine,” Hyuga said. “Tohatsu is committed to a sustainable product lineup, and we are eager to now include electric outboards.”

Tohatsu didn’t provide pricing for its electric propulsion series but said it will be competitively priced. The electric outboards will be built at Ilmor’s North Carolina facility and Ray expects to start shipping electric outboards in July.