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Start-up Electric Boat Company with Tesla Motors' Drive-train Technology

Start-up Electric Boat Company with Tesla Motors' Drive-train Technology

Hello owners and fans of Tesla Motors,

Since I was aware of how Tesla Motors is revolutionizing the car industry, I have had ideas to replicate a similar business model to help advance the earth's transition of water transportation off fossil fuels and towards electricity.

Tesla Motors has announced many times that they would sell power-trains to other companies, and the boating industry is one that is long over-due for innovation.

Are there any individuals (engineers and investors), with given skill sets or similar drives, interested in a start-up a company that would provide compelling, high-performance, electric boats?

We would start the same with as Tesla: Prove that electric boats can be the best boats in the world and transition much like Tesla did from the Roadster to the Model S and X. Although, because boats are not used for mass transportation, we could keep a focus on performance or have a lower-cost model, in the future, that would give recreational boaters a sustainable boat purchasing option.

There are many hurdles that we would have to overcome, but the basis of the work has already been set out. Boating sales are not as common as one would think, so we could meet demands with the right amount of capital, but we to do this by making use of what the boat industry has already innovated and incorporating the costs of the battery-technology Tesla has already engineered.

Aerodynamics is above all for batter range, acceleration and speed, so we could start with a design body that benefits the battery and basically follow the business model of Tesla Motors. Not because we want to copy Tesla because they are successful and we all want to get rich, but because they have the best capitalistic mission statement and business model: To focus on profit to survive, but re-invest capital to tactical a larger problem: hydrocarbon energy extraction and consumption. If we focus on our ethics, alike Tesla Motors, the start-up has unlimited potential. But this would not be achieved by focusing on high-market production, high sales and high profit, it would be done by making a compelling high-performance, sustainable boat that convinces people that water transportation with electric power-train is the future.

If you are interested, leave a comment here with what you do and why you would want to be a part of it.

The low production, high cost, high-performance luxury boat (off the top of my head: think of an Allison Craft powered with batteries) will be purchased from individuals who have spendable capital. With a boat house, a charging system could be installed and the boat would charge over night or when not in use, and solar panels could be installed on the roof of the boathouse to provide a fuel-free driving experience for life. As a cottage owner, I do not know what could be more exciting than never having to pump to re-fuel your boat again. Am I wrong?

Cheers,

Kyle Raney

GeekEV | 12/02/2014

Kudos for thinking big. Best of luck to you!

sosmerc | 12/02/2014

http://www.torqeedo.com/us/electric-outboards/hybrid/video-hybrid

I believe the future for electric is just beginning......

Brian H | 14/02/2014

Yeah, that German "Deep Blue" line looks awesome.

Elon's faith that others will focus on boats and Tesla's intervention will be unnecessary seems justified.

kyleraney15 | 14/02/2014

Great comments. Thank you for posting your thoughts and information regarding the start-up. From what I see, Deep Blue has a great basis for its operations: targeting sail-boat, long-distance range sailing.

I want to point out that the market we would be targeting is, at first, the high-speed boating market, than recreational market, so the range a high-speed boat requires will be much less than a speed boat, but because of the power needed to push a craft across such a resistance surface such as water, we will have to balance cost per kWh, top speed and acceleration with battery conservation.

I am a Canadian, so I will use Canada as a stat-point, and right now, there are 3 million engine/jet powered boats in Canada. All require fossil fuels to run (considering the boats are purchased and not home-lithium-ion made). The average amount of boats sold in a year is much smaller than the amount of high-speed boats sold in a year (similar to the numbers sold of high class cars, like the Model S, versus cheaper cars like the Honda civic), so, if there is large amounts of capital in selling these high-speed boats, one could consider, instead of only producing a limited amount of high-speed boats, producing more boats to raise capital and re-invest into the mass marketable recreational boat model.

The average boater in Canada is from 31 to 49 years old, has children at home, and has a household income $44,000 to $99,000 a year. Boating is solidly a middle class activity that is due for innovation.

As a start-up trying to convince recreational boat buyers that electric-power trains are the best way to fuel a boat, we could target the $90-100k price range. Or simply build a handful of boats that everyone wants but because of the limited production, not everyone can buy. This will create a buying frenzy over a boat that was never made to be mass bought. If we produce a "roadster" type of boat alike Tesla, keeping in mind that the original plans of Tesla did not work out (with Elon having to dump his remaining capital in 2006 to keep the company afloat), we should focus on the actuality of the technology that exist and propose a boating craft that isn't completely different from a traditional boat design, but one that simply powered in a way that no other has ever seen. And in a way that gets boat fans talking. That will win over the minds of speed-boat fans, and then, with the created capital of the speed-boat or from investors interested in investing in a start-up (with goals similar to Tesla: accelerating mass sustainable transportation), or from selling the boats to the high-speed boating market, we can use invested capital to target the recreational boating markets and produce a mass-marketed electric powered water craft.

I do not have any experience in boat engineering, but from what I have researched we would need to use a water-propulsion power-train fueled by lithium ion cells. The idea of using water, on water, to push a boat seems to be the technology that we will start with as a basis. Engineers, please correct me if I am wrong or you have a better idea: I really want to hear it.

I am a 24 year old law student, but I am a founder of a small business that has provided income while studying. I also invested a small amount of money, at a great time, in Tesla when first heard of the company, through researching Elon Musk. The value I have to put forward with the start up is not a value needed to start a company, but it is a value I am willing to risk to take a chance and help out in transitioning a fully-sustainable water, land, and air transportation world. I do not have experience in engineering, but I have a dire interest for physics and boiling concepts down to their fundamental values, and I believe that, with the right minds and people who want to change the way the water-world uses energy, we can easily convince the boating market that electric power-trains are the only way to go. And do so by making great boats that compels people and others to buy electric powered, jet-water propulsion water-crafts.

Thank you for your comments again and I look forward to reading any one's comments, criticisms or ideas.

kyleraney15 | 14/02/2014

I apologize for the spelling mistakes. I post through my cell phone, while on the bus, and try to proof-read as much as I can on a 4-inch, touch screen. The first paragraph, there is an outstanding error:

"I want to point out that the market... so the range a high-speed boat requires will be much less than a SAIL BOAT(not speed-boat as posted above)..."

Cheers.

Brian H | 15/02/2014

The market may seem large to you, but is miniscule compared to the automotive one. The returns on brainpower and capital Musk could achieve are correspondingly smaller.

IOW, for TM it would be a serious mis-allocation of resources.

Marty1234 | 16/02/2014

Has anyone done the math to determine boat range..and a possible solar assist.

grega | 16/02/2014

Check out these guys, someone linked to on these forums a few weeks ago. http://greenlinehybrid.com

Cruisers, streamlined hulls, solar charging. 6 knots max speed electric, over 20 knots with diesel parallel engine. The downside is the single engine base model - they have a twin engine upgrade, but I'd like to see a single diesel motor for over 6 knots (props linked) but have twin electric motors at low speed for manoeuvring (though I'm not sure the effort to have one less diesel is worth it)

The interesting thing is that a cruiser is expensive, so the battery cost is relatively low in comparison to the whole cruiser, unlike an Electric car where it doubles the price.

SamO | 16/02/2014

I also think you could buy a pack and motor setup from Tesla and start building your own. Or buy a totaled Model S to experiment on.

Stretch Tesla VW Vanagon

http://cafeelectric.com/stretchla/

Be creative and MAKE A PROTOTYPE. Elon believes that "doing" is believing. If you slipped an intact pack into a keel, and slipped the drive motor onto a prop, you'd be able to cruise the world.

mattostmeyer | 18/02/2014

Hello! If you're serious about making this happen, get in touch with me. I am ready to cut plugs on an original boat design that has the hydrodynamic efficiency to give the electric version a satisfying run time and excellent performance with a reasonably sized battery pack. I've built other high power electric boats on inefficient hulls and am ready to do it right in this new platform. One year after investment, this is a profitable company.

Best -

Matt
913 908-8081

Captain_Zap | 19/02/2014

I would love a good electric dinghy. It doesn't have to be fast but I would need to plane and be able to go against strong currents.

The problem would be the weight on the davits...

I do know of an all electric sailboat in BC that generates its own electricity. It resides on an island off the sunshine coast of Vancouver Island. It is owned by a Tesla customer.

Captain_Zap | 19/02/2014

BTW... the number of boats per capita in the Pacific NW of the US is staggering.

Southern BC gets a huge amount of the business from the West Coast of the US. A few photos of Lake Washington during Seafair may open your eyes a bit. This is especially interesting when you realize that most of the boaters leave and go to Canada or the San Juans to escape the chaos. All marinas are jammed to the gills and boats are anchored in every available space for hundreds of miles.

We went to Lake Washington once for Seafair because we had the privilege of being on the Blue Angels communications command boat during the "halftime" show during the hydroplane races. Mindblowing!

This photo of a section of the logboom doesn't quite do it justice, but you get the idea of how big the boat industry is.

http://www.kirotv.com/gallery/entertainment/seattleinsider-seafair-party...

https://s3.amazonaws.com/webassets.ticketmob.com/TM/images/ShowPosters/E...

We were at center point the last time the Blue Angels were here. We were supposed to host them the next time, but the show got cancelled due to the budget cuts last year. I do have some awesome videos of the communications crew signaling the Blue Angels from center point when the jets were still many miles away with a simple hand held mirror.

grega | 19/02/2014

We need a wide roof for solar, hydrofoils like the "Americas cup" catermarans for high speed with very low drag, And a high torque motor to pop the boat out of the water and get to optimum speed quickly.
:)

Ruckmarine | 19/02/2014

Here's a production electric recreational sportboat with Torqeedo's Deep Blue.

http://www.ruckmarine.com/team-scarab-electric-sportboats/kona-17-electr...

Solar charging on top of a boat house or hoist canopy will be available.

Good to see this discussion and ideas. Lots of stuff is happening with electric boats.

Scott

naval_architect | 06/03/2014

Hydrodynamics is really key. The most efficient hull type is multi-hull i.e. catamaran or trimaran. It is no accident that the best power-to-distance-to-speed electric boats are multihulls. Have a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJOG15IPDHQ With this kind of technology you can cruise at about 7 knots for about 6-8 hours until you need to charge.

The problem with multihulls is that boaters are quite conservative and they prefer the look and feel of monohulls. I believe this is the reason why Teslas look like conventional cars instead of looking radically futuristic. Switching from the petrol engine to electric is already such a huge change that affects also your habits and behaviour that a manufacturer would not like to risk everything by making the product look goofy, even though this goofiness could bring measurable benefits.

Electric speedboats do exist such as the one-off built on the AMG Mercedes electric drivetrain, have a look at http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/02/mercedes-electric-speed-boat/

There's some commercial things happening such as the electric wakeboat by Epic: http://epicboats.com/p-8298-232se.html You can get one hour of wakeboating with this one.

Harri

Brian H | 06/03/2014

Multihulls maximize surface area and minimize volume below decks. That's a limitation; everything is topdecks and exposed.

thranx | 07/03/2014

Battery weight, salt-water and air corrosion potential, etc., constitute numerous problems. That said, I've seen plenty of deep-water sloops and cats that utilize solar and wind generation to charge their batteries. Develop a system that would allow them to dump their auxiliary diesel in favor of pure electric and I think you'd have a winner.

grega | 07/03/2014

@naval_architect.
Yes Tesla basically made a traditional look car, instead of an eco/bubble car that others seemed to be creating. But they also have picked a sweet spot and made sure the car does well for that particular market. Luxury cars, and most Tesla owners have their own garage.

It's always been true that slower power boats should have a sail boat hull. They're more efficient, and yet almost no power boats do that. Even the catamaran hulls that power boats do have are heavier hulls while a sailing catamaran has 2 thin cat hulls. So the question is which boats are most efficient, plus which boats are easiest to keep charged.

If you look at the wake of the boat it'll tell you about efficiency, as it uses a lot of power to make big waves. A common BAD operating speed is 5-20 knots where the boat isn't quite planing, and uses far too much petrol. Catamarans are usually the smallest waves - look at high speed cat ferries as an example, but they're BIG. They also have greater roof surface area for solar cells. But most private boat owners with cats keep them on a swing mooring instead of a marina berth, so not easy to plug in and charge, as they're too wide for a standard pen.

All of which looks like there's no easy answer. (Just putting an efficiency gauge on a boat like they have in cars would help drivers immensely, once they see how bad 10 knots is etc.)

Car t man | 07/03/2014

thranx

for open sea, only hybrid solutions can currently be applied.
Electric, even with solar panels, currently don't provide
enough autonomy, to keep the vessel safe and powered in
case of any issues on open sea. Propulsion wise.

Brian H | 07/03/2014

cartman;
Bring oars and paddles. ;)

grega | 08/03/2014

@Cartman, yes I think there's more reason to have at least a generator on a boat, and many >30ft boats have separate generators now. There's more room in the hull, it can be reasonably self contained, and water cooled.

There are 2 key strengths of the EV boat idea.
1) Cruisers are expensive. Adding a $20k battery to an average car is expensive, adding a $20k battery to an average boat is relatively not as bad.
2) Most boats sit around a lot, then get used for a few days. A BIG battery could get slowly charged by solar cells over weeks, and then used for 3 days, then charge for weeks again. (Possibly also trickle charge via currents over the propeller while moored.)

graham | 08/04/2014

Hello Kyle and others,

I have been involved in developing electric boats since 1996 so hopefully I can provide some useful information for you. Please check my web site for information which I updated in August 2013.

http://www.trawlercatmarine.com/greentechnology.html

There are several crucial things to consider when discussing efficient boats.

The first is that sea water is approximately 800 times denser than air so there is a lot of resistance to overcome.

The second is what I like to call Engineering 101; “more energy is required to move a heavy object than a light object”.

The lessons here are to build a vessel as light as possible and as efficient as possible and this means reducing air drag by having a low profile aerodynamic superstructure and pilothouse and efficient hull form to reduce hull drag.

To this end I have specialised in designing power catamarans in Canada since 1996 and my catamarans are now designed to be built using carbon fibre due to its strength and light weight. Carbon fibre is five times stronger than steel and less than half the weight of aluminum making it the material of choice for light weight boats, but it is expensive.

I have also designed some trimarans and a properly designed and built carbon fibre trimaran with its long narrow centre hull and small outrigger hulls is more efficient than a catamaran. The downside is the lack of space in the trimaran compared to a catamaran of the same length.

Building a lightweight carbon fibre catamaran and then installing a large number of lithium polymer batteries in each hull is counterproductive to what we are trying to achieve. You cannot overcome the weight of the batteries so we turned to ways to mitigate the result of the weight which sank the boat lower into the water and increased hull surface drag.

What we are doing on our latest workboat catamarans, amongst other things, is using a dynamic/hydraulic hydrofoil system; with conventional diesel engines of course because workboats need to work and that means they need to be fast; 40 + knots fast fully loaded.

Hydrofoils on all electric boats would need to have a slow speed hydrodynamic wing foil shape that would provide more lift at low speed to get the boat higher out of the water at slower speeds. This will take advantage of the density of the water by using it to provide lift just like and aircrafts wing through the air. As the cat increases speed it will climb up which will reduce the hull drag and hopefully it will come out on the positive side of the power to weight curve.

We have other innovative features to reduce drag including rudders that reduce rudder drag by up to 90% compared to conventional rudders and hull forms that reduce bow waves and drag dramatically.

I worked with another Canadian Company, Corvus Energy of Vancouver to provide the power needs for a 18m x 6m all electric replica Mississippi River Boat catamaran design for a client who couldn’t
follow through and have the boat built.

http://www.corvus-energy.com/marine.html

As hard as we’ve tried we haven’t found a total solution to replacing carbon based energy with electric energy on a boat. With all the different ways to generate electricity on a boat using wind, solar and water generators we still haven’t solved the difficulty in storing the electricity in large enough amounts in light enough containers for it to be anywhere as efficient as burning diesel. Unless battery storage technology makes a major leap forward then electric generating will have to improve enough to directly power some type of propulsion system.

If you’re still interested in pursuing electric or hybrid catamarans further I’d be only too happy to help you any way I can.

Graham

Captain Graham Pfister
President & Lead Designer
Trawlercat Marine Designs
graham@trawlercatmarine.com
April 8, 2014

Brian H | 09/04/2014

Years ago I saw a French (?) "breakthrough" using a curled channel on each side of a hull to redirect the bow wave rearwards. Ever hear of any follow-through on that?

ZsoZso | 09/04/2014

Have you guys seen the PlanetSolar project ?

http://www.planetsolar.org/

They made a trip around the world using solar power only (2010-2012).

Brian H | 09/04/2014

Nice rig!

grega | 09/04/2014

Great info Graham, and good to see there are innovative companies actively pursuing different ways of doing things better :)

I have a question about your comment "more energy is required to move a heavy object than a light object". Conservation of momentum says that a boat, heavy or light, will not be slowed down by its weight - instead it'll be slowed down by drag and other factors. I've been thinking this through.

Getting a heavy boat up to speed, or frequently stopping and starting a boat (like a ferry), manoeuvring to get into dock or to anchor - all these things would use extra energy with extra weight, so usage patterns matter significantly there. Any time you find yourself putting an engine into reverse will be significant. If you are cruising from point A to B the issue is reduced.

Of course, extra weight will make the boat sit lower in the water and that increases drag, so that's where it gets really important. But the key there is reducing drag.

So are you saying that
a) by far the most effective way of reducing drag is reducing weight, or
b) are your comments aimed more at work boats which do have to manoeuvre frequently, or
c) am I totally missing something else important?

:)

Timo | 09/04/2014

@grega; I'm guessing that first you reduce drag as much as you can (shape), and then the weight as much as you can (materials). In that order.

kemppainen | 21/04/2014

Kyle, et al.

Very interesting forum; I enjoy reading all of your comments. Late in 2013 I began publishing WATTerCraft.com, a blog/website dedicated to sharing information about recreational watercraft with electric propulsion systems. I am passionate about documenting and promoting associated technologies and products as they are developed and introduced. I invite you to visit and add your comments and feedback. I am also interested in assisting you with your effort to commercialize Tesla's battery technology.

david | 28/04/2014

Let me throw down the Gauntlet/(

david | 28/04/2014

Let me throw down the Gauntlet

In 2012 we built and launched at Monaco the Mylne Bolt 18, all electric fast yacht tender. http://www.mylne.com/bolt_electric_boat

video is here http://youtu.be/ofOoc2Nr8G8

We use a UQM Power pro 100 motor (135bhp) with a 24kWH Lithium iron Phosphate Battery Pack, all wrapped up in a classically styled 18ft aluminium hull.

In November of that year we set the newly established British Water Speed record for Unlimited Electric Runabout, at a modest 32.77mph

Video here http://youtu.be/8xv1xJ-JWU0

On Saturday 26th April 2014 we displayed the Bolt 18 opposite the fabulous new Tesla at the Evolution Edinburgh Electric Vehicle Show - and it got me thinking, hence my finding this most interesting thread (facebook pictures here https://www.facebook.com/Mylne1896)

So here is the Challenge for Tesla and anyone else looking to make a name for themselves in Electric Power Boats - come a break our record on Coniston Water in November 2014. You will need to get in touch with these guys http://www.conistonpowerboatrecords.co.uk/

David Gray
Mylne Yacht Design

www.mylne.com
https://www.facebook.com/Mylne1896

david | 28/04/2014

I forgot to mention, if you would like to commission us to help you with this, then get in touch :-)

Brian H | 28/04/2014

david;
You are addressing a forum of owners and enthusiasts. Not TM itself. Use email for that.

lph | 28/04/2014

What I would like to see is a sail boat with an electric motor rather than noisy rough diesel. Weight is not an issue with a sail boat and actually could be an advantage if someone could come up with a way to place it in the keel or if not possible then as low as possible to help the righting moment of the boat.

david | 29/04/2014

At Mylne we are VERY keen on electric propulsion, and currently working on a 65ft traditional styled boat with twin electric auxiliary - in fact everything on board is electric (cooking, heating) because we are using an innovative electric solution that utilises a lithium battery pack and a diesel range extender. For now I can't say much more, but we look forward to revealing more in September.

vgarbutt | 05/05/2014

I am hoping that this idea isn't too crazy. Has anyone seen the new water repellent spray , I believe it is a new application of nano technology. I'm no boat expert, but wouldn't that tech make a good marine paint. It seems like it might reduce water friction.

Or would the boat race community have already thought of it?

Brian H | 05/05/2014

vgar;
Sure, but it throws the boat up out of the water and skitters it randomly and rapidly across the surface!

j/k

grega | 05/05/2014

You can be sure all that stuff is heavily researched, especially for racing yachts (which trickles down to ordinary yachts etc)

Homebrook | 06/05/2014

Are there any issues with safety? What happens when the battery is submerged due to some accident, especially in salt water?

Brian H | 06/05/2014

It electrocutes fish?

Homebrook | 06/05/2014

Brian H, yeah fish, and passengers, and nearby swimmers. And I thought taking a bath with a hair-dryer was a bad idea! We're talking about multiple kilowatts here.

andrew.colaruotolo | 20/07/2014

I think this is a great idea with a ton of potential. Much of the recreational boating in the States is done on lakes and rivers for shorter periods of time that may not necessarily need the range that an open water craft would need. For starters, you could appeal to this market and advance as technology advances. There is a group at MIT that is working on liquid electrodes that can be replaced, think blood transfusion, or recharged quickly. May be where the future of battery tech is headed, but you have to start somewhere.

I am very interested in this, shoot me an email if you would like to chat more. For every problem there is an engineering solution!

Cheers.

vgarbutt | 20/07/2014

Talking about hull efficiencies, i was wondering if that new nano-technology liquid that makes anything shed water like lightning can be used as a marine paint that might make a hull more friction free in the water. Just an idea for experimentation.

grega | 20/07/2014

You can be sure that the racing yachts are experimenting on paints for least friction. Lots of money spent there that will trickle into other uses.

grega | 20/07/2014

Hah! OOps... thought I'd said something like that before

So to address the question at hand, no I don't know about actual nano-technology liquid for better slippery boat hulls.

kyleraney15 | 31/08/2014

The responses to this post are great. I enjoyed reading about boating companies who are already successful and branding themselves out and breaking or setting speed records. Imagine a market where boat purchasers can choose to fuel up at the side or inside their boating house, over night, or at their dock through a water-protected battery charging device that pops open with a touch of a key?

The ideas and possibilities are endless with so little interested using Tesla patents on the water. As well, if we can incorporate putting batteries in large boats and using solar to charge the large amounts of batteries, while they travel during the day, there has to be a threshold point between cost per cell and fuel that will allow these large boats, who need large amounts of power, to get the source of power from similar or a larger power-train size of that of the Model S' and save in fuel costs.

Exponentially, the cost of lithium cells will drop as the gigafactories increase battery production and SolarCity pushes the solar industry with other major leaders. It will soon cost less to do use the sun with lithium cells and the companies at the front line of electric boating and electric transpiration in general will be the "big 4" or "big 8" like the automotive industry alive today. Of course these big companies will have to focus on transitioning to the new generational times, but currently it doesn't seem many of the current corporate infrastructure are, including the automotive sector in North America. Times are changing. It's awesome to see so many others inspired. Tesla is truly a revolutionizing company that I think more and more people are going to follow. Not only for their products and free patents but for the way they conduct and instruct business.

andyrebele | 13/09/2014

This is an interesting discussion.

My company, Pure Watercraft, is creating an electric outboard motor that will run at 9.9 to 25 hp, and provide the propulsion of conventional outboards up to 35 hp. We also built a prototype 21' electric runabout that goes 48 mph (not going into production at this point).

http://www.geekwire.com/2014/tesla-boats/

Torqeedo makes a very good outboard up to 4 hp (especially their 2 hp and less models). They also make the 80 hp Deep Blue, but the battery pack is a minimum 650 lbs for that power level. (They also sell a power-limited version at 40 hp that requires half the battery pack.) They have announced a hybrid electric-wind catamaran system as well.

For those looking for an auxiliary power system for a sailboat, Oceanvolt of Finland provides a very innovative, clever, and professional system.

We decided to focus on the outboard instead of a whole boat, because there's a such a wide variety of boats that people imagine converting to electric. No matter what boat you choose, you'll meet most people who wish you would have chosen something else.

We chose our power level (9.9 to 25 hp) because it's the most powerful system we could build and still be manageable by an end user. The battery packs are 6 kWh, but can be connected together to increase range. (They run in parallel to keep the charge and discharge rates low and preserve battery cycle life.) And we can replace conventional systems in some cases without adding to system weight (since conventional systems usually include a lead-acid starter battery, and the motors themselves are much heavier than electric).

Among the great reasons to electrify boats are:

many applications (lakes for example) have limited range anyway, so battery capacity doesn't limit you
electric motors naturally have higher peak power than continuous, so getting up on plane fits what electric motors are made to do
with good torque at any RPM, you can go as slowly as you'd like (gas motors' idle speed is often faster than a boater wants to go)
the prop can be sized larger at lower RPM (a gas motor would stall out), resulting in much better efficiency
catalytic converters don't work well in outboard motors because water interferes with them, so there isn't a great alternative way to reduce pollution significantly
you tend to charge a boat on weekends, when power supplies are not capacity constrained
cars are quiet (because of the enclosed passenger compartment), but boats are loud. The noise advantage of electric is much greater.
pollution in boats is horrific. a 2-stroke jetski (granted, obsolete by now) produces as much pollution in 2 hours as a typical car produces in 10 years (according to California Air Resources Board). Even 4-stroke boats with no catalytic converter produce 10x the pollution per gallon of gas that a car does, and they use a lot of fuel.

Andy

grega | 13/09/2014

Hi Andy
Sounds like a great idea to get an outboard setup like that. I have 2 main questions :)

Firstly how long does the motor run on a 6kWh battery pack? That's the biggest issue with electric cars or boats... range. I know the size of the boat will make a huge difference but just trying to get an idea (plus I note the article you link to says you provide bigger batteries with bigger motors).

Secondly... what does your outboard look like? My first assumption would be that the battery pack is external and connects like the petrol tank does on a petrol outboard. I assume this because you'd want to fit any boat like a regular outboard, and because wiring multiple batteries implies they're external.

I would imagine though that rethinking how an outboard does its job would allow some new ideas to emerge that would be better for electric, and perhaps simply better for any outboard too. Supporting this... the article you link to says "Rather than simply bolting an electric motor to an existing outboard motor housing, the company is building the entire product from the ground up to be electric.". The entire product is the outboard though, not the entire boat.

That rebuild is intriguing, what can you share about how you've changed how outboards are done?

don | 19/09/2014

Abel Yachts takes up the Gauntlet.

At 12:00 today, Abel Yachts will attempt to break the record set by the Mylne Bolt, with our LightWave Ampere 5.5m Runabout. We used the same UQM 135HP motor, and Tesla-Type Li-Ion Batteries. Equipped with 45 kW-hr of Storage on board and built from Carbon Fibre our Tender weighs 1050 kG, fully dressed.

It is powered by a Weber WaterJet coupled directly to the UQM.

The speed trial will take place over a measured Nautical Mile in Split in Croatia at 12:00 and be witnessed by the Croatian Registry of Shipping.

More info at www.abelyachts.com

And results later in the day. Here's wishing us luck

Don Marshall

don | 19/09/2014

Abel Yachts, LightWave Ampere Update

I am pleased to announce that the Speed as Certified by Croatia Register of Shipping, measured over a 1 nm course was an average of 32.91 Knots or 37.8 mph.............

Details will be posted on www.abelyachts.com

Regards

Don Marshall

Brian H | 19/09/2014

Average speed within 0.2 mph of the max? What caused the slowdown? ;p

Did the fish prefer the quiet?

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