Electric boat motor manufacturer ePropulsion has announced its sales revenues for 2020 – recording a healthy 60% growth – and is forecasting even larger growth of 100% in 2021.
The company said that the results have been driven by recreational boating in its two top markets – Western Europe and North America – and that the increase is coming from freshwater fishing and sailing enthusiasts. With the recent introduction of hydrogenerating capabilities across its entire line of outboards, presumably the sailing segment is a key reason for the 2021 optimism.
ePropulsion founder and CEO Danny Tao said “When we look at market segments, we see a positive trend of a 20% conversion rate from different boat owners transferring to using electric propulsion outboards.”
ePropulsion founded in 2012
ePropulsion was founded in 2012 by Tao and three other mechanical and electrical engineering students at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). A water sport buff who also volunteered with an ocean protection organization, Tao used to row to a quiet bay about 5 kilometres from the campus and first experimented with electric propulsion when he bought a used electric motor, attached a shaft and propeller and set it up on his boat.
It worked so well he did his master’s thesis on building an electric boat motor company and was encouraged by his professor Li Zexiang, chairman of DJI, the world’s largest consumer drone company. By 2014 ePropulsion was up and running, the Spirit 1.0 outboard was ready and was introduced at the 2015 Amsterdam METStrade show, where he focused on building distribution channels for a 2016 launch.
Tao noted the success of that strategy when announcing the 2020 results, saying “We have worked really hard to build our team internally and to develop a strong distribution and dealer network across our core markets in Europe and the US.”
New distribution in North, Central, South America
In related news, Mack Boring & Parts Co. of New Jersey, which currently represents ePropulsion along the east coast of North America, Central America and the Caribbean, will expand their ePropulsion distribution responsibility to cover all of North and Central America.
“To say that we are excited for this opportunity to help sculpt that market is an understatement.” said Mack Boring’s Electric Market Manager, Chris Ponnwitz. “ePropulsion is dedicated to innovation and creating a convenient electric propulsion experience accessible to all boaters. This has been evident in their consistent advancement with both the battery and motor solutions that they continue to release into the market.”
Those solutions were evident in the past year. Last July ePropulsion introduced a new version of their Spirit 1.0 electric outboard – the Plus – along with the E-Series range of LiFePo4 batteries that standardized a 48 volt protocol across all models. This was followed in December by the advance in motor development and introduction of hydrogenerating capability across the entire line.
That line now includes the Spirit 1.0 Plus, Spirit 1.0 Evo, Navy 3.0 Evo, Navy 6.0 Evo and Pod Drive Evos in 1, 3 and 6 kW versions.
To support its continued expansion in both sales and innovation, ePropulsion has grown its workforce by 40% in 2020, with 160 employees now working across its three facilities in the great bay area in China. Among them, its 65 engineers have enabled the company to gain 40 new patents in the last year alone.
“I am really proud of the growth and success ePropulsion has seen since it was founded nine years ago.” said Danny Tao. “We expect more and more boat owners, whether sailors, anglers or tender users, to convert and reap the rewards of using electric outboards.”
Exciting things are happening every day in electric boats and boating.
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