A 150hp electric outboard – which will be the world’s most powerful – is being launched thanks to the efforts of three of Norway’s leading marine companies: Evoy, Frydenbø and Hurtigruten.
The three come from different segments of the boat and marine industry, but all are committed to zero emission propulsion – and making sure Norway continues to be a country known for electric boat and ship innovations.
Evoy is a Norwegian electric boat motor startup that made news last year by chasing the world speed record for production electric boats. Their flagship boat Evoy 1 was baptised by Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg last August. It’s a 8.6m / 28ft Polarcircle 860 workboat from Helgeland Plast, which seats 12 and is popular for industrial use in Arctic and near Arctic waters. You can see the boat in action in the video below.
Hurtigruten is one of the country’s major arctic and fjord cruise operators and is a pioneer in adopting electric and hybrid solutions to protect the fragile northern waters and environment. Last July they launched the Roald Amundsen, a 500 passenger hybrid-electric ship which operates totally on Corvus Energy 680kW Orca batteries when in eco-sensitive waters. The company has announced plans to make 9 of its 11 large ships electric hybrid by 2021. It is also a partner in the 24 metre Brim Explorer arctic ecocruiser which takes guests whale watching and has been named one of the world’s top 50 adventures by The Telegraph newspaper.
150hp electric outboard for Expedition Cruises
The third member of the team, Frydenbø-Milpro, distributes inflatable boats and RIBs for commercial, industrial and military use. The Evoy 150 will be powering their Zodiac Milpro Mark 5, which is used by Hurtigruten to take expeditions of 8-12 passengers out from the main cruise ships to explore the arctic waters up close. This is their first electric project, and the company said the exploration cruise industry has long been asking for electric solutions.
It was Hurtigruten who led the drive for the electric outboard for their exploration cruises. They contacted Evoy last year with the goal of having 30 systems delivered in the spring of 2020. As Evoy Co-Founder and CEO Lief Stavøstrand said, “We like challenges, but this inquiry was a little tight, even for us!”
The prototype was set to be shown at the Norwegian International Boat Show in Lillestrøm in March, but the event was cancelled due to COVID-19. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has also effected Hurtigruten’s schedule. Their expedition cruises have been postponed until May 12 and the MS Roald Amundsen Alaska trip will be postponed to July because of new travel restrictions in Canada.
Evoy 150 prototype to be tested this summer
On the other hand, that gives some more time for testing the Evoy 150 prototype. Right now it has a continuous power rating of 90 kW (120 hp) and peak of 150kW (200 hp). In the coming months it will be tested with a drive that delivers torque of 170 Nm (125 lb/ft) nominal and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) peak. When all assembled it should weigh in at about 150 kg (330 lb) without the battery. The idea is to have the 150 ready for a World Premier at Evoy headquarters in Florø, Norway, later this year and in the market for spring 2021.
The outboard is only one of the projects the motor company is working on to realize its vision of eliminating emissions from marine transportation. They received a grant of 1.8M Norwegian Kroner from the Innovation Norway program and are developing and refining an inboard electric motor system for boats over 8 metres (25 feet). It has a plug’n’play install with batteries, management systems, controllers, performance monitors and an output of 600kW (800hp).