Vision Marine is partnering with Octillion Power Systems to develop customized high voltage 35 kWh electric outboard batteries as the energy source for their E-Motion 180e powertrain.
This is the latest step for Vision Marine in optimizing procurement, manufacture and assembly for commercial scale production. In October of 2021 they announced an agreement with Linamar Corporation subsidiary McLaren Engineering for the testing, manufacture, and assembly of the powertrains.
“There is currently a two year delivery backlog of performance batteries in the boating industry” said Alexandre Mongeon, co-founder and CEO of Vision Marine. “The Octillion agreement will allow Vision Marine to continue to scale production and secure the quantities of high density electric battery systems required in conjunction with the commencement of sales of our E- Motion outboard powertrains.”
Over 4.5 billion kilometres of EV experience
Octillion was founded in 2009 to design and build lithium-ion battery systems for electric cars, trucks and buses. They have delivered nearly 400,000 electric vehicle battery systems for the global market, with more than 4.5 billion kilometers driven on Octillion battery systems. The agreement with Vision Marine is the company’s first in the marine market.
One of the key strengths of Octillion is that it is “cell agnostic”. To explain what that means: The batteries used in EVs and e-boats need to have high voltage and high energy storage capacity and are constructed out of hundreds (sometimes thousands) of individual cells connected into modules which are then connected to make the final battery pack.
Most companies work with only one kind of cell, but Octillion chooses the best cells for the application and then builds them into customized packs. This means that the electric outboard batteries and accompanying Battery Management system (BMS) will be specifically designed to fit into the high performance powerboats of both Vision Marine and their boat manufacturing partners.
Paul Beach, President of Octillion, said “The E-Motion platform offers an unparalleled boating experience when compared to traditional fuel powered systems. These new platforms will encompass both state-of-the-art energy density rich solutions as well as extreme high power options.”
Electric outboard batteries for new boats and refits
The proprietary systems are being designed to match the dimensions of high performance powerboats and pontoons ranging from 18 to 30 feet, with narrow hulls and compartments. Vision Marine has orders and Letters of Intent from boat manufacturers throughout the USA, including Limestone, who they made an agreement with last year.
Estimates show about 70,000 pontoon boats are expected to be sold in the United States in 2022, and approximately 380,000 outboard motors. Another advantage of the Octillion design is that the configuration of the battery pack is smaller than a typical fuel tank, making it easier to electrify an existing boat.
Vision Marine Technologies began life as the Canadian Electric Boat Company in 1995 and rebranded in December of 2019 with a $27.5M IPO on the NASDAQ Exchange. For many years, they manufactured and marketed lightly powered cruising style boats but were one of the first to move into high performance models.
Their Bruce 22 has set the speed record for electric boats at the famous Lake of the Ozarks Shootout for the past three years – most recently beating their own best mark last August with a speed of 49 mph / 78 kmh achieved with an E-Motion 180e in back.
Other companies are now joining them in the high power electric outboard arena, like Norway’s Evoy, Denmark’s EPTechnologies and Flux Marine in the US. Then there are the electric wakeboard and towsport boats like the Ingenity Nautique GS22E and Arc One, which use high power electric inboards.
All of them require batteries that not only provide the ability to hit top speeds, but also give owners lots of quality time on the lake without having to head in for constant recharging. New technologies and customized solutions like the Vision Marine/Octillion collaboration are leading the way.