Electric boat motor manufacturer ePropulsion has launched the X Series, marking its entry into the over 10 kiloWatt outboard power category and demonstrating the features and benefits of its ‘eSSA’ – ePropulsion Smart System Architecture.
“The X Series marks a significant step forward in electric propulsion systems and in our ever-expanding portfolio” said Danny Tao, Co-Founder and CEO of ePropulsion. “It is the result of our extensive R&D that looks at more than basic electric propulsion to create an intelligent and integrated platform for consumers and OEM clients that ensures a quieter, cleaner, better boating experience.”
ePropulsion has been one of the pioneers and first mover market leaders in electric outboards since it was founded in 2012 by Tao and fellow students at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).
When presenting the new X Series at the ePropulsion booth at Amsterdam’s METSTRADE show in November, he related how they developed the first e-motors so they wouldn’t have to row out to their favourite water sports areas on the city’s Clear Water Bay.
The new company’s first commercial models were launched at the trade show in 2015 and ePropulsion developed an excellent reputation and growing market for lower power motors like the Spirit and Navy lines that have maximum power of 6 kW (≈ 9.9 hp.).
Three sizes: 12, 20 and 40 kW (≈ 20, 30, 60 hp)
At least year’s METS, ePropulsion introduced their first higher power motors: the 100kW H-100 electric inboard, which was followed up with the I Series of inboards that deliver power of 10, 20 and 40 kiloWatts.
The X-Series has similar power ratings: 12, 20 and 40 kW, but the basic motors have been configured and designed for outboard use, which requires gearing to transfer the vertical spinning of the drive shaft to the horizontal spinning of the propeller shaft.
All models operate on a 96 Volt system and weigh up to 1/3 less than comparable ICE motors. The ePropulsion team has designed a very compact unit that incorporates a frequency resonance isolation and vibration dampening technology that results in less vibration than comparable outboards.
One of the other things the new X Series employs is a proprietary propeller. ePropulsion’s large R&D unit formulated a unique algorithm for the prop, refining over 20 key metrics to ensure optimal hydrodynamic performance.
Motors, electronics and controls in one unit
Then there is the eSSA and the electronics. These were first introduced with the I-Series inboards and have been adapted and further developed for the new outboards.
The ECU (electronic control unit) is integrated into the cowling area of the outboard, along with the motor controller (the ‘throttle’, that controls how much current the motor is getting) and the power tilt/trim.
The ECU is the brains of the system that oversees the electric drive, interactive monitoring and battery systems as well as the data and analysis capabilities of a cloud network.
With this ePropulsion Connectivity Service, users can check everything from the location of their boat to battery level, speed and charging status. They can also generate sailing logs automatically, authorize guests for remote boat sharing access and even turn on the security mode and notify the user instantly should the boat be stolen.
One of the really handy features the architecture enables is an advanced driving assistance system. Instead of using hydraulics to turn the motor and steer the boat, ePropulsion has incorporated electric steering that is integrated with the eSSA.
That improves the handling precision and means the boat driver can put the motor and boat into one of three automated modes: Position Hold, Heading Hold, and 360 Motions
The motors are also fully compatible with existing ePropulsion accessories including the G102-100 Battery, Battery Charger, Solar Charger Controller, MPPT and DC-DC.
While the line up was launched in Europe, ePropulsion clearly has its eyes also set on the growing US market. “This new line represents the explosive growth of ePropulsion’s work of providing the very best in electric propulsion,” said Tom Watson, President of ePropulsion USA. “With the new, incredible power the X-Eeries outboards provide, we’re looking at a great opportunity to spread ePropulsion further in the market of electric propulsion in the United States.
“In North America and around the globe, we’re looking forward to the X Series further propelling ePropulsion to a position of leadership as it sets the new standard for what electric propulsion is and what it can do.”