WaVeS #11 – electric boat news and updates

Plugboats WAVES (Watts, Amps, Volts, Electrons) is an occasional collection of electric boat news and electric boating items that we have written about before and are updating, or items we are going to write about but are waiting for more information / developments – or items that are just tidbits you might find interesting.

So without further ado, here is WAVES #11, with electric boat and boating news about:

  • ePropulsion, SailGP renew partnership for seasons 4 and 5
  • Taiga introduces new electric jetski model – Orca Performance
  • E1 electric boat race series to preview September 1-3
  • Paris Olympics orders four electric ferries from Norway’s Hyke
  • Highfield Boats showcasing electric at Annapolis, Fort Lauderdale
  • Kreisel batteries building 2 GigaWatt hour facility in USA.

ePropulsion, SailGP renew partnership for seasons 4, 5

SailGP bills itself as ‘the world’s most exciting race on water’ with teams hitting speeds of excess of 50 knots (mph/km) in one-desgn F50 foiling catamarans. It also one of the most ambitious about environmental concerns, with a stated mission to be “the world’s most sustainable and purpose-driven global sports and entertainment platform.”

In Season 2 (April 2021 to March 2022) the event first partnered with ePropulsion as an Official Supplier to provide the Spirit 1.0 Evo electric outboard motor for the league’s event support tenders, and Navy 3.0 Evo electric outboard motor for SailGP’s community engagement.

In Season 3, with ePropulsion onboard, five of the eleven SailGP events were 100% powered by clean energy. SailGP’s goal is to accelerate its transition to clean energy, with a target to be 100% powered by clean energy – both on and off the water – by 2025.

The companies have also developed autonomous race marks – equipped with the ePropulsion Navy 6.0 Evo – that are fully electric-powered and operated via GPS, so there is need to anchor each mark to the seabed. This helps avoid damage to the sensitive marine environment while reducing fuel consumption of operational boats on the water.

In addition to their environmental commitment, SailGP has an ‘Inspire’ community, education and outreach initiative, which aims to serve a leading role in helping diversify the sport of sailing for youth without race, gender and socioeconomic status presenting a barrier to entry. ePropulsion will contribute to the program by sharing its technology to educate the younger generation.

We’re thrilled to announce our continued partnership with SailGP, and to explore further avenues to tackle climate change together,” said Danny Tao, CEO of ePropulsion. “and the renewed role as a partner of SailGP also offers the unique opportunity to support the Inspire community, to assist with educational programs that create impact within the local community and most importantly leave a legacy.”

ePropulsion products have proven themselves across some of our most demanding venues and have been pivotal to delivering our operations sustainably over the past two seasons.” aid Tom Verity, Transition and Innovation Manager at SailGP. “We are excited to continue and further integrate their market-leading technologies across SailGP’s operations.”

The next SailGP race takes place September 9-10 in St. Tropez.

ePropulsion SailGP ePropulsion motors for sale in Plugboats Marketplace

New Taiga electric jetski model – Orca Performance

Montreal electric jetski manufacturer Taiga now has its enhanced automated production technology onstream and is putting it to work on the Orca Performance, which has a starting price of $19,490 USD. The company says the precision molded hull has been hydrodynamically optimised, with a low centre of gravity to enable both carving performance and efficient cruising across varied conditions.

It has a fully closed-loop powertrain system, designed for Taiga snowmobiles, that means no pollutants are introduced to the water and no special winterization is required. Auxiliary systems have extremely low parasitic drain, meaning the craft can be left unplugged for up to three years without draining the battery.

The big benefit, though, is the quiet operation – up to 30 decibels (dB) quieter than gas watercraft. To give you an idea, many regions allow a maximum level of 85 dB for watercraft, so if the Taiga comes in at 55, that is comparable to somewhere between moderate rainfall (50 Db) and normal conversation (60 Db).

The Performance is powered by Taiga’s sixth generation integrated motor-inverter Tractive Unit, delivering up to 120kW of power, 170Nm of torque and maximum speed of 9,000 rpm. The sealed lithium-ion battery has been optimized to safely deliver maximum power across its lifetime under high vibrations and saltwater environments and provides enough energy for up to two hours of riding. It can be charged using standard overnight EV charging systems, Level 2 chargers (3.5 hrs) or on optional DC Fast Charging which can take the charge to 80% in under 40 minutes.

It also has all the bells and whistles

  • Three user selectable ride modes: Range, Sport and Wild
  • 7″ HD display monitor.
  • Over The Air (OTA) remote system updates
  • App with access to the charging set-up

We take great pride in bringing this new innovation to the market, and in making it more accessible, especially in an industry where electrification presents significant challenges.” said Sam Bruneau, CEO and co-founder of Taiga. “We will continue pushing technological boundaries that others shy away to deliver the best possible electric products for accelerated electrification.”


E1 Series previews in Rotterdam September 1-3

For the first time, the E1 Series will be exhibiting multiple RaceBirds in front of huge crowds, launching new liveries and introducing gender-equal split pilot teams.

The E1 Rotterdam Preview will take place at the 46th edition of the largest annual maritime event, World Port Days, in Rotterdam, Netherlands. From September 1-3 more than 100,000 visitors each day will witness multiple RaceBirds taking to the waters of Rotterdam.

Rodi Basso, Co-Founder & CEO of E1: “With Rotterdam on our calendar next year, this event is just a taster of what is to come in our inaugural season. Showcasing at The World Port Days demonstrates E1’s values in such a sensitive time for climate change, especially with our shared commitments towards electrification in the marine industry and building a sustainable futureCelebrating our countdown to the start of our championship, I look forward to presenting just what E1 is about and the spectacular racing action our RaceBirds are capable of on our journey to next year.”

This race preview event in Rotterdam marks the start of the countdown to the inaugural season of the UIM E1 World Championship, where Jeddah will host the first-ever E1 race in early 2024.

E1 Series

Paris Olympics orders four electric ferries from Hyke.

Norwegian company Hydrolift Smart-City Ferries (Hyke) has developed a purely electric passenger ferry – the Hyke Shuttle 0001 – with space for 50 people.

The 10 tonne 15-metre-long and 5.7-metre-wide vessel has been designed for series production and has a power output of between 60 kW and 150 kW, depending on the version. The batteries have gross capacities of between 95 kWh and 285 kWh. It is is equipped with solar panels on the roof and can be automatically charged wirelessly.

Hyke gives the maximum speed as 15 knots (28 km/h), and the energy consumption as ten to twelve kWh per hour at a speed of six knots.

Paris has ordered four units of the electric ferry for use at the Olympic Games next summer. Hyke expects to be able to build about 15 to 20 boats a year initially and 100 units a year in the future.

Hyke is also developing its own autonomous navigation technology so that future e-ferries will be able to operate without a captain.

Hyke CEO Bjørn Utgård said “We have to cut CO2 emissions, we have to reduce the queue on the way and we have to revitalize the city. And revitalization of the city often means developing new residential areas and offices at the water’s edge, which in turn raises new transport challenges and opportunities.”


Highfield Boats showcasing electric RIBs at Annapolis, Fort Lauderdale shows

Highfield was one of the first companies to add electric propulsion to the RIBs in their international model lineup, and will be showcasing models with motors by ePropulsion and ZeroJet at the Annapolis and Fort Lauderdale Boat Shows. Highfield also announced partnerships with both ePropulsion and ZeroJet to expand their electric propulsion options.

The Highfield ZeroJet 330 (shown here) made its world debut at the Dusseldorf International Boat Show and will make its U.S. debut at this fall’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Highfield Boats collaborated with New Zealand electric jet propulsion company ZeroJet to design the new 11-foot model. The ZeroJet 330 has a top speed of 22 knots. The system uses a jet pump instead of a propeller for propulsion. Twin 48-volt LiFePO4 lithium-ion batteries will provide run times of up to 7.5 hours.

At the Annapolis Boat Show, the company is debuting the Highfield Classic 340E equipped with the Navy 6.0 Evo electric outboard from ePropulsion. The companies say the 11 foot, 1 inch Classic 340E will reach a top speed of 10 knots.

ePropulsion Highfield Boats ZeroJet

Kreisel/John Deere building 2 GigaWatt hour battery facility in USA.

John Deere, which acquired majority ownership of Kreisel Electric in 2022, has announced the selection of a location in Kernersville, North Carolina for an 115,000-square-foot battery manufacturing facility .

Kreisel supplies the high power, high energy density batteries for e-boat builders X Shore, among others, and for the hydrofoiling RaceBirds used in the E1 Series of electric boat races.

This is the first Kreisel facility outside the company’s headquarters in Austria and will enable a production capacity of up to 2 GWh. The batteries will be used for both water and land e-mobility products (including John Deere agricultural and industrial applications) as well as for stationary battery facilities. The company will develop and manufacture both Kreisel battery and CHIMERO charger technology in North Carolina. Ground will be broken for the new facility in Fall 2023 and production is estimated to begin in 2025.

The facility will have a non-fossil-fuel-consuming design and is prioritizing sustainable energy features in major systems like the facility’s HVAC, energy recovery system, state-of-the-art lighting, and irrigation control.

Our customers are facing challenges that require their businesses to be more dynamic than ever before — we are engineering the technological innovations they’ll rely on to do so,” said Jennifer Preston, CEO of Kreisel and Global Director of John Deere Electric Powertrain. “This investment is a great step forward as we work toward our goal of demonstrating viable low- and near-zero-carbon power solutions by 2026.”


Exciting things are happening every day in electric boats and boating.
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