The first shipments of the Avator 7.5e Mercury electric outboard are on their way to customers, and the company says that “The 7.5e is the first of Mercury’s five Avator electric propulsion systems to be announced this year.”
The Avator 7.5e was the first Mercury electric outboard to be revealed, launched and shipped. Originally teased at the Miami Boat Show in February of 2022, it was officially launched at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in January 2023, and full units are now leaving the loading docks in Lac Fond, Wisconsin.
The company says that “U.S., ANZP, and EMEA customers and distributors will begin receiving the Avator 7.5e over the next few weeks with a steady stream of engines to be shipped throughout the year to all Mercury global customers.”
Demo/concept models of two other Avator electric outboards were on display at major boat shows like Düsseldorf and Miami this winter, and the full motors will be released ‘later in 2023’.
In terms of power, the 7.5 produces 750 watts (3/4 of a kilowatt) at the propshaft, the 20e has 2 kilowatts of power and the output of the 35e is 3.5 kilowatts.
Swappable batteries, digital controls
The standard conversion of kiloWatts to horsepower is 1kW = 1.3HP, but Mercury’s test show the 7.5e is “capable of speed and acceleration similar to that of a Mercury 3.5hp FourStroke outboard. Their tests were conducted on a Veer V13 boat with standard boat weight of 380 pounds.
The 7.5e comes with a 1 kWh lithium-ion battery developed in partnership with Mastervolt that slides into place under the flip-up top cowl. A 110W charger is also included in the basic package. Motor and battery together weigh 60lbs / 27kg. (Motor: 43lbs / 19.5kg Battery: 17lbs / 7.5kg)
In terms of range, the test on the Veer showed one fully charged battery can run the Avator 7.5e for 60 minutes or 5 miles (8km) at constant full throttle, with, and up to 19 hours or 34 (55km) miles at constant 25% throttle. Extra batteries can be purchased to extend ranges and can be quickly swapped in.
Real life results will depend on the size and weight of boat, but the 7.5e is a great option for small fishing boats, dinghies, jonboats, even kayaks and canoes with the appropriate transom. For small sailboats it can be used for navigating the harbour, or is easily stowed onboard to power a small RIB or tender.
Other features include digital power & shift remote controls for centre and side console mounting, a tiller handle that doubles as a carrying handle, and compatibility with the Mercury Marine smartphone app with GPS, battery charge monitor and range estimator.
Transflux motors in Mercury electric outboards
The Avator uses a high torque density transflux electric motor. Flux is the term for the magnetic fields that make an electric motor function, and there are three basic ways the fields can be arranged in a motor. If you think of the motor ad being a tin can, in a radial flux motor the fields run along the sides of the can, in an axial flux motor they run along the top and bottom of the can, and a transflux motor combines them.
Andrew Przybyl, the Mercury engineer leading the Avator development team, says “One of the main reasons we chose to be the first to use transverse flux technology in this application is because of its high torque density. The motor can generate instant torque at low rpm, so we were able to design a large-diameter three-blade prop that spins slower. The result is faster 0-4 mph acceleration, along with better overall performance and efficiency. Efficiency is the name of the game in electrification.”
Avator 20e and 35e to be released in 2023
When it comes to the other Mercury electric outboards, the company says the Avator 20e and 35e will both be released later in 202 and “Two additional electrification product announcements from Mercury will be made before the end of the year.”
Commenting on the first shipments of the Avator 7.5e, John Buelow, Mercury Marine president, said “This is a historic and exciting day for Mercury Marine as we continue to deliver on our commitment to being the industry leader in both internal combustion products and electric propulsion. We look forward to all our customers around the world having the opportunity to experience Avator and to have the brand be prominently displayed globally.”
This is a big day for electric boating in general. Mercury is the world’s leading manufacturer of recreational marine propulsion engines, and is part of Brunswick Corporation, which also owns marine companies like Lowrance, Simrad, Mastervolt, RELiON, Boston Whaler, Lund, Sea Ray and Bayliner. They obviously see opportunities in electric boating and this helps bring attention to zero emission propulsion and move it further into the mainstream.
Those looking to power their boat with Avator are encouraged to contact their local dealer for more information on shipping dates. The company has not yet released a suggested retail price.