Mercury Marine launches the Avator 7.5e electric outboard at CES
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas today, Mercury Marine unveiled its highly anticipated Avator 7.5e electric outboard, which was first showcased in prototype form at last year’s Miami International Boat Show.
The company is one of the worldwide market leaders in outboards and in 2021 made their initial commitment to launching electric models. The Avator brand is the company’s electric program and the 7.5e model is the first in a series of electric outboard products to be released this year.
Avator 7.5e electric outboard first in new program
“We are excited to formally introduce the Avator 7.5e electric outboard to the world,” said Chris Drees, Mercury Marine president. “As the innovation leader in the marine industry, both in internal combustion products and now electric propulsion, we have the resources and knowledge to make boating more accessible to more people, while building on our commitment to sustainability. The Avator program is helping us do this in new and exciting ways.”
The Avator 7.5e electric outboard generates 750W of power (.75 kiloWatts) at the prop shaft and produces similar speed and acceleration as a Mercury 3.5hp FourStroke outboard. Offered with tiller or remote steering, it’s ideal for powering many small boats, including tenders, jon boats, inflatables and kayaks.
Mercury sibling company launches Veer – new boat for electric propulsion at CES
Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Avator 7.5e electric outboard is the swappable batteries, which load from the top. There is also a quick-connect mounting system and intuitive controls for easy setup and operation. A full-color display tracks battery level and range.
‘Complete propulsion system’
Tim Reid, Mercury Marine vice president of product development and engineering, said. “Every aspect, from the controls, props and digital gauges to a mobile app, are designed as parts of a complete propulsion system specifically designed for the advantages of electric propulsion”.
Smart chargers constantly monitor voltage and current to deliver a safe, effective charge and can shut down to protect the battery if there is an issue. An intelligent digital display continuously tracks current power status and estimated runtime.
This can all be connected through the all-new Mercury Marine app, available for iOS and Android devices. Boaters can access the app for free to enjoy basic functionality, including a library of tutorials and the ability to connect with a preferred dealer for expert support.
Adding a Mercury SmartCraft Connect module to the outboard unlocks advanced features of the app. These include a GPS map for planning trips and visualized range estimates. The app can also be used to track speed, battery level, outboard hours and system notifications.
Swappable 1kWh lithium-ion batteries
The 1kWh lithium-ion battery was developed in partnership with the battery experts at Mastervolt and engineered exclusively for marine duty. It’s a safe, reliable 48V power source that’s been drop-tested and IP67 rated for water resistance.
The simple system for estimating range of an electric motor is the power of the motor in kiloWatts (kW) multiplied by the energy capacity of the battery in kiloWatt hours (kWh). In one hour, the 3/4 of a kW Avator will use 3/4 of a kWh – meaning a run time of about an hour and 20 minutes at full throttle. It will run for longer at reduced speeds.
The swappable battery system means that range can be doubled simply by carrying another battery on board, as boaters do now with fuel cans. The weight of a single battery is 16 lbs / 7.1 kgs. A 5 gallon / 20 litre can of gas weighs about twice that (31 lbs / 14.2 kgs).
One of the things that increases the increases the efficiency of the Avator 7.5e electric outboard is its transverse flux motor. Flux refers to the power of magnetic fields that make a motor spin around. A transverse flux motor uses a different winding of the coils in the motor that increases low-speed torque and efficiency.
High efficiency transverse flux motor
Practically, this means the motor can generate high torque with little effort, maximize battery life and range while contributing to faster acceleration and more efficient overall performance.
In addition to the Avator 7.5e electric outboard, Mercury today also launched Veer, an all-new boat brand designed to support electric propulsion a new range of boats designed specifically for use with electric motors.
The company says that the Avator program “continues Mercury’s commitment across all product lines to redefine marine propulsion in ways that leave a positive impact on the environment” and each electric outboard is crafted with many components that are recyclable or reusable.
“Every aspect of the Avator 7.5e electric outboard was designed with the same attention to quality, durability and reliability as all Mercury products, said Reid. “We’re confident it will deliver a superior boating experience for boaters interested in powering small vessels with electric propulsion.”
Mercury has plans for the larger motors in the Avator line, the 20e and 35e electric outboards, to be in market later in 2023.
5 thoughts on “Mercury Marine launches the Avator 7.5e electric outboard at CES”
Nice concept but please don’t try to muddy the waters on the range/fuel weight argument. You state one battery weighs 16 pounds, and then compare it to “twice the weight for a 5 gallon gas tank”. Well, that 5 gallon gas tank could run a comparable output gas motor (3.5hp?) for about a week compared to the hour and a half you estimate your motor gets. And if you bring an extra battery your weight argument makes even less sense…..
Hi Chris, thanks for writing. I am sorry if you feel I am trying to ‘muddy the waters’, I thought I was actually trying to do the opposite. A lot of people ask me how to estimate the range of an electric boat and also many ask me how much a battery weighs compared to a tank of gas. As for the range/run time comparison, that is pretty easy. The specific energy of gasoline – how many watts per unit of weight – is about 60 times the specific energy of a lithium-ion battery. So 32 pounds of battery will have a range/run time with the Avator of about 2 hours and 40 minutes running full out. 32 pounds of gasoline will have a range/run time of about 150 hours in a similarly sized gas motor like a 3HP. Some people may be happy to go out fishing for a couple of hours and then charge the swappable batteries back on shore at the end of the day. Others want to or need to fish for longer times or in more remote places and will be happier buying gasoline when they need it at a marina or service station. To each his own. Jeff
Thank you Chris for your valid comment. I thought the same thing. Also, who would carry 5 gallons of gas onboard for a 3hp motor.
Thank you Jeff for your clarification, particularly addressing the range. Issue. For trolling around the dock, close to home, an electric outboard can’t be beat. For any distance cruising, I’m afraid we’re stuck with gasoline for a while yet.
We are all looking forward to cost effective long range electric cruising, but it’s a ways off yet.
Gas fumes stink n make me sick- love love electric motoring
Jeff, thank you for the weight comparison, helpful in many ways.
I installed an electric motor on my 24 ft sailboat ca. 20 years ago when I saw what mess a 5 hp 2-stroke outboard made inside the water pail while I was rinsing it with fresh water, running the engine for about 10 minutes.
Black soot and oil slick… no, didn’t want to participate in the spoiling of our seas anymore.
Arguably the 4-strokes are better but I had changed my attitude and there was no going back 😮
A sailboat is logical for electric propusion. Sailboats have the main engine, the sails. Anything else was traditionally called “auxiliary” – needed in calm or tight spots with headwind, maybe leaving from and arriving to the marina if the winds were not suitable for normal boating 🙂
Nowadays the needs of motorboaters, used to the excessive use of dino power for speed, exceed the offering of electric propulsion. Many new sailors are ex-motorboaters, and see a sailboat a bit differently, in that they see sails as the auxiliary – to be used on nice days with not too much or too little wind, and maybe not so much for sailing into the wind.
The main difference is attitude and overall goal setting. A motorboat is usually(?) on its way to somewhere whereas a sailboat is the somewhere.
For electric propulsion to be more widely used for motorboating needs a change of attitude – the new technology foiling boats are just too radical for most even if they have much better range than traditional gliding hulls, without giving up on speed.
For the majority, the need for speed should grow weaker. But reality is changing slowly. 20 years ago there were 2 displacement hulled motorboats on a local fair (Helsinki Boat Show) and one electric “rowing boat”. It is nice to hear that progress has been made, Still not there… as Chis so helpfully showed us 🙂