The boat is the sporty and prestigious 22’ Four Winns H2 OB, powered by Vision Marine’s E-Motion™ 180E electric propulsion system which delivers 180 horsepower (≈ 135 kW) with a 70kWh lithium battery pack.
The companies announced that the new partnership will also see Vision Marine’s outboard motors on several models across Groupe Beneteau’s brand portfolio, both in North America and Europe.
This is big news for electric boating when one of the world’s largest builders offers electric propulsion on planing powerboats. The Groupe has manufacturing facilities and a global sales network that employ about 7,600 people worldwide, mainly in France, the US, Poland, Italy, Portugal, and China.
They have also been known as an innovative leader throughout their 138 year history. At last year’s Cannes Yachting Festival they introduced electric versions of their Excess 15 sailing catamaran and Beneteau Oceanis 30.1 monohull. They also committed that their Delphia brand of cruising yachts for inland waterways and lakes was committed to building only electrically propelled boats by 2024.
Earlier this year they began delivering on that commitment with the introduction of the Delphia 11, an 11m / 35 ft yacht designed by Tony Castro of Britain with Sedan and FlyLounge versions available that can be configured with a two-person bedroom suite or three-cabin layout.
Four Winns electric built for quiet speed
The Delphia is meant for relaxed, quiet cruising, while the Four Winns is designed for something entirely different: exciting, quiet speed!
Vision Marine Technologies CEO Alexandre Mongeon is an electrician by trade who has always loved racing boats. He and VMI Co-Founder Patrick Bobby imported high performance boats into Canada before they set out to change the on-water world with electric high power motors.
The E-Motion 180E is an outboard that integrates a complete optimized powertrain system with the battery pack, controller, chargers and everything needed to replace a fossil fuel outboard and keep the performance while getting rid of the noise and exhaust fumes.
Boats with the 180E have set speed records for the past two years at the famed Lake of the Ozarks Shootout and this year the team has their sights set on topping the world record electric boat speed limit of 88.6 mph / 142.6 kmh set by a Jaguar Vector Racing boat in 2019.
The power of the E-Motion is obviously important for the Four Winns boat, but equally important is the fact that Vision Marine has been setting up all of the elements necessary for producing the systems in the kinds of quantities Groupe Beneteau is forecasting.
Erik Stromberg, Power and Motor Yacht Product Director for Groupe Beneteau, told Shipyard magazine “We meet a lot of people with great engines, but many are not industrialized. We needed a partner who could deliver volume.”
Vision Marine ready for mass production
Earlier this year Vision Marine set up manufacturing and production agreements with McLaren Engineering and its parent company Linamar Corp., which has 60 plants around the world and is a major parts supplier for the North American auto industry – electric and fossil fuel.
Vision Marine Chief Operating Officer Xavier Montagne, said “Our high-end technology adapted from the state of the art automotive market is the driver of our partnership with Groupe Beneteau. This will change the way consumers go boating.”
Groupe Beneteau is actively preparing for the shift to electric over the next decade. The 11 brands in their Boat Division offer nearly 180 recreational boat models, from sailing to motorboating, monohulls and catamarans.
“Many of the boats in our portfolio fit perfectly with a 100% electric solution,” said Stromberg. “and the Vision Marine system is totally complementary and fully compatible with our other propulsion packages.” He says that the key to electrification is to have a full analysis of the customer use case and that the company is aiming for 20% of their 20-foot bowriders to be all-electric in the next few years.
“We have always held Groupe Beneteau in high esteem and acknowledge the company’s long-standing mandate for leadership and excellence within the boating industry.” said Vision Marine’s Mongeon. “We are honoured to have the opportunity to power the Four Winns boat with our technology and look forward to a long-standing partnership.”