Electric Sea Racing Limited (‘E1 Series’) and Public Investment Fund (‘PIF’) have entered a partnership that will create the world’s first electric powerboat racing competition. The news was revealed today during a virtual launch event, where E1 Series organisers also unveiled the new design of the electric RaceBird powerboat ahead of today’s World Oceans Day.
A Rhode Island start-up founded by childhood friends has been quietly working on reinventing the outboard motor and is testing three electric prototypes in the 15hp, 40hp and 70hp categories. Flux Marine Ltd is the brainchild of Ben Sorkin and Daylin Frantin, who spent summers together as youth on New York’s Lake George buying, fixing and selling old outboards.
Vision Marine co-founder and CEO Alexandre Mongeon said acquiring EBR — which serves about 100,000 passengers annually — gives his company another avenue to showcase the brand’s e-powered craft and its E-Motion 180E outboard and powertrain system, which is set to debut midsummer with Limestone Boats.
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Nominations are now being accepted for The Gustave Trouvé Awards for Excellence in Electric Boats and Boating. The “Gussies” were started last year by Plugboats, a website dedicated to e-propulsion. Last year’s awards highlighted 50 boats from 19 countries, with more than 10,000 people placing nominations.
Electromobility and electrification are among the hottest topics in the marine industry and shaping up to be among the most competitive too, with leading companies such as Volvo, Dometic and Brunswick scrambling to button-down acquisitions and partnerships bringing a broad range of technology solutions in house – particularly in the area of batteries, power management and storage capabilities.
Optima Projects, a specialist engineering and design consultancy in the UK, has developed a new range of cruising boats powered by electric propulsion for RCD Cat B, Offshore rating. Optima’s first 11m boat can be equipped with two double cabins, has extensive galley and social spaces and room for eight to eat around a large cockpit table. The new design is planned for build in the UK later this year, with further models already scheduled.
Austria-based boatbuilder, Frauscher Bootswerft GmbH & Co KG, has launched the TimeSquare 20 – a new electric boat which is described by the company as “another milestone in their long history of innovation”. The TimeSquare 20 is a twin-hulled electric boat which Frauscher states is in line with the company’s philosophy of “engineers of emotions”. The model includes a number of innovative features and has a very distinctive design.
A US Senator from the state of Washington is proposing new tax incentives to accelerate the manufacturing and adoption of all types of electrified transportation modes ranging from recreational boats to industrial equipment. The Fueling America’s Security and Transportation with Electricity Act of 2021 (FAST Electricity Act) would establish a 30% investment tax credit for any electrically propelled vehicle that is not an on-road passenger car or truck as well as for electrical recharging or hydrogen refueling infrastructure, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Senator Maria Cantwell.
For cruisers and passagemakers, powering a dinghy with a conventional gas-powered micro-outboard can be problematic. The larger vessels’ primary power source is often diesel, requiring owners to stow jerricans of gasoline that, in some cases, violate insurance restrictions. And to prevent theft, taking off and putting on gas-powered engines can be awkward and time-consuming.