A big electric boating leap is underway with the installation of high power, high speed electric boat superchargers by MDL Marinas, who operate 20 major marinas and boatyards in the UK and Europe and manage over 7,000 boat berths.
The chargers are from Aqua superPower, who have a network operating along the coast of the Mediterranean in Monaco, Cannes and other Mediterranean sites and are also working with the city of Plymouth to build a charging network in that port.
MDL is the first UK marina group to offer an electric boat charging solution across properties, with the superchargers to be installed in facilities along the south coast of England – at Cobb’s Quay, Hamble Point, Sparkes and Ocean Village – as well as in Windsor, just outside London. Together the marinas have 1,721 berths.
“We recognized that for the electric boat market to grow, it’s essential that a charging network is developed to service these boats,” says Tim Mayer, sales and marketing director at MDL. Managing Director Michael Glanville added “We’ve chosen to join forces with Aqua superPower, not just because we believe it has developed the best marine electric charging solution at this time, but because its mission aligns with our aim to help reduce the impact of boating on the marine environment.”
Chargers part of overall Green Strategy
In October MDL launched its Green Strategy mission to “become the UK’s most sustainable marina group, developing a culture of environmental awareness and care amongst its customers and teams.”
They already have close to 1,000 solar panels installed at various marinas, 40+ electric vehicle charging stations, and all purchased electricity at all marinas comes from 100% renewable sources. With their MDL Fitness initiative they’ve opened the first of a series of in-marina gyms where up to 74% of a user’s kinetic energy from treadmills, cross trainers and bicycles is converted to electricity.
On the electric boating front, the plan is to have electric boat superchargers at all marinas and to electrify their workboat fleets. Presumably the two programs will be introduced in tandem. Aside from environmental benefits, electrifying work boats eliminates the huge amounts of money marinas have to spend on fossil fuels and maintenance, and high speed chargers are ideal for boats that require frequent and fast recharging.
For many weekend electric boat owners, standard marina charging pedestals are perfectly fine. But for workboats and pleasure boaters who want the new higher speed electric boats to zip around on the water for a while, recharge and then go back out, the Aqua superPower system speeds things up dramatically.
A recreational boat with a 100 kWh battery can be charged in about an hour with the 75 kW DC Aqua superPower unit, which is built to IP65 standards and constructed using Hydro CIRCAL recycled aluminium. The network of chargers will be accessible to MDL marina users through Aqua’s secure app or RFID card.
Worldwide network of electric boat superchargers
“When you’re asking a consumer to make significant investment in an electric boat, you want to assure them they can have the charging that suits their lifestyle.” says Alex Bamberg, CEO of Aqua superPower. “We are delighted to be working with MDL Marinas, who are widely recognized as a cornerstone of British yachting and known for innovation and leading the way.”
Aqua’s goal is to have a worldwide network of electric boat superchargers and these installations along the English coast and relationship with MDL are significant steps. In addition to operating 20 marinas with 7,000 moorings, the marina group’s Freedom Berthing unit offers access to 150 facilities in the UK, Spain, France and Portugal.
Tim Mayer says “This is just the first step in tackling marine and air pollution in line with our new Green Strategy. We’re looking forward to working with local authorities and other marine companies to further increase the electric boat charging infrastructure, allowing the marine industry to evolve in the most sustainable way possible.”