Gasoline-powered outboards dominate but there are newcomers to the industry developing electric outboards for the commercial and recreational industry.
Some of the biggest developments have come from the electric outboard industry, which has been busy improving range and reducing charging time. Electric outboards appeal to the new generation of boaters who are concerned about their environmental footprint and are incredibly quiet while operating.
While the traditional engine builders are developing their own electric outboards, it’s still the gas-powered outboards that consumers want. Here’s a look at a few companies that has caught our attention.
Anytime a boat runs 109 mph with electric power that’s a newsworthy event. That’s what Vision Marine did when a 32’ catamaran with a pair of its flagship E-Motion 180-hp outboards made the pass at the 2022 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout.
For now, Vision Marine offers only the E-Motion 180E, which can be charged at any marina or personal dock using a 220-volt power outlet. The battery will fully recharge overnight.
Range is a concern for some consumers and with the E-Motion 180E boaters will get 3.5 hours or a range of 70 miles cruising at 20 mph. The usage time falls within the typical daily use for most boaters, Vision Marine said.
The battery pack replaces the fuel tank and while Vision Marine recommends its outboards with new builds, consumers can do a retrofit. The E-Motion requires less maintenance than a traditional combustion outboard because it has fewer parts, including no need for an oil change.
Vision Marine has already announced partnerships with boatbuilders Groupe Beneteau, Freedom Boat Club and Nautical Ventures among others.
The Norwegian company recently celebrated its fifth anniversary and offers inboard and outboard products for the commercial and leisure market. When it comes to outboards, Evoy builds a 120-plus horsepower and a 300-plus horsepower electric models.
The Evoy Breeze 120 is ideal for boats from 15 to 25 feet and 23 to 30 feet for twin applications, while the Evoy Storm 300 is designed for 25- to 35-foot boats for single installation and over 30 feet for twin engines.
Evoy redesigned the Storm 300 in January 2023 and CEO and Co-founder Leif A. Stavostrand called the new design “simple yet elegant and timeless” and says Evoy strives “to have the coolest design out there.” The 300-hp electric outboard is powered by two 63 kWH batteries and the 800-volt system delivers strong torque with most boats running more than 50 knots.
Range is a significant consideration for buyers and Evoy says boaters can expect 30 nautical miles at planning speed and cruising at 5 knots will provide up to 12 hours of battery time.
Evoy plans to launch a 200-hp Gale Series and 400-hp Hurricane Series of outboards and inboards available in 2024.
For boaters looking for a tender whether it’s to service a yacht or cruise around the harbor, Torqeedo has a range of inboard and offerings starting with a 3-hp outboard up to a 100-hp inboard.
Focusing on the outboard side, Torqeedo offers eight outboards starting with 1-, 2- and 3-horsepower outboards for light boats, kayaks, tenders and dinghies. Most center-console enthusiasts will care about Torqeedo’s 40- and 80-horsepower models, which can be paired up for recreational or commercial use.
The 25 R (40 hp) and 50 R (80 hp) is a fully integrated system with an onboard computer and a touchscreen to monitor the battery, which is available with a nine year warranty.
Running a relaxed 5.5 mph, the battery has up to 20 hours of life before needing a recharge. Run full throttle (about 25 knots) and the Deep Blue 50 R will have a 16 to 20 nautical mile range but will only run for under an hour. Using 50-amp shore power, a drained battery can be recharged to 80 percent capacity in about 90 minutes.
Torqeedo promotes reduced operational costs because the battery and outboard package require little maintenance.
Boaters looking to replace an old gas outboard between 25 and 50 horsepower should consider Pure Watercraft. The company is well known for its electric boat line that includes rigid inflatables, pontoon boats and bass boats, and only offers the singular Pure Outboard System.
The 50-horsepower outboard is designed as an easy drop-in replacement. Pure Watercraft’s outboard motor starts at $21,000 and comes with an outboard motor, battery pack, charger, throttle and a power/data cable. The charger is compatible with 120- or 240-volt outlets and the outboard needs just 90 minutes to go from half to full on 240 volts. Using 120 volts, it takes five hours to a full charge.
Read more on the 2023 Outboard Buyers Guide here: https://www.centerconsolelifemag.com/reviews/2023-outboard-buyers-guide/