UK electric boat motor company lands £1M funding

UK electric boat motor company RAD Propulsion has announced the securing of a £1,000,000 (≈ US$1.25M, €1.175M) investment from autonomous vessels company Ocean Infinity. The funds will contribute to a rapid operational scale-up, with the RAD 40 electric drive going into mass production.

RAD 40 electric outboard has 180° rotatable lower unit

The RAD 40 is a low profile outboard that has an innovative lower unit (lower leg) that can rotate 180° for easy handling and docking. It is being used on a number of boats, including the 5.1 meter (16’ 8”) Valkama Picnic Cruiser, the 8.5m Hyrex 28 that uses hydrogen fuel cell  technology, and the RS Electric Pulse 63, on which the RAD 40 is integrated with the hull of the RIB and enables the boat to spin within its own length.

RS Electric Pulse 63 spinning within its own length - aerial photo
RAD 40 on the RS Electric Pulse 63

Ocean Infinity is a marine technology company specializing in the development and deployment of robotics to gather subsea data on a large scale. The company serves governments, energy organizations and international scientific institutions and has the world’s largest fleet of full capability deep water Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs).

Pioneers of deep sea robotic data gathering

Since its establishment in 2017, Ocean Infinity has used its fleets to play a vital part in high profile offshore projects including the search for missing airliner Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, and the discovery of the missing Argentinian submarine, ARA San Juan, which was found at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, at a depth of about 800 meters ( 1/2 mile).

A ‘typical’ application of its technology would be a recent contract for Equinor Wind to survey the seabed for a massive floating offshore windfarm project on the US West Coast.

Illustration of Ocean Infinity autonomous research vessel

Before starting RAD Propulsion, co-founders  Dan Hook and Rich Daltry worked for many years in the autonomous vessel sector themselves, building and developing advanced marine robot boats used in industry, defence and oceanography.

They founded RAD because they saw an opportunity to deploy technologies found in ocean robotics to serve the wider marine industry. The RAD 40 is their first product, with two systems in development – the RAD120 and RAD2 .

Big year for UK electric boat motor company

In announcing the RAD investment, Ocean Infinity CEO Oliver Plunkett said: “Our relationship with RAD Propulsion will accelerate the adoption of electric propulsion in the marine world – an important step in the transition away from reliance on fossil fuels. The opportunity for this rapidly growing business to have a major impact on the future environmental footprint of the marine industry is truly exciting.”

RAD Propulsion CEO Hook noted that this is a pivotal year for RAD as its products become available to OEM partners around the world.  RAD’s launch customers include boatbuilders in the USA, Finland, Australia, Spain, Norway and the UK.

“The demand for marine electrification is accelerating at a fast pace,” said Hook “and with 95 percent of new boats still consuming fossil fuels, the need is clear. Ocean Infinity identified RAD’s unique, tech focussed approach which ideally positions us to deliver boat builders, commercial operators and high-end leisure users, the solutions they need to reduce their carbon footprint.”

We are grateful for this significant investment which will support us to deliver stand out milestones in 2024 and beyond.”

Rad Propulsion  Ocean Infinity  Valkama  Hyrex  RS Electric Boats

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