WaVeS #9 – electric boat news and updates June 8, 2023

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 #9, with electric boat and boating news about:

  • Vision Marine tooling up for 10,000 battery packs / year.
  • ForzaX1 reports 1st quarter results
  • 1st Avator electric outboard sold in US
  • Gussies-winning solar boat available for order
  • Spirit Yachts launches foiling electric speedboat
  • E-boat from former Tesla Exec signs up European

Vision Marine acquires tooling for 10,000 battery packs / year.

electric boat news - Vision Marine Technology battery pack The battery, of course, is a major element of an electric drive train, and with demand for them rising in the electric vehicle consumer market as well as in other commercial applications, securing a supply chain and production process is critical.

On May 30 Vision Marine Technologies (NASDAQ: VMAR) announced the acquisition of ‘critical industrial tooling’ that can support production of over 10,000 battery packs per year. These are the VMT 700V DC Powerpacks used for their 180 hp (≈135 kW) E-Motion Powertrain. The packs have been designed specifically for the rigours of marine use and have an IP67 rating, certifying they are dust-tight and protected against the effects of temporary immersion in water.

In a news release the company said “Vision Marine has secured production partnerships with a streamlined network of regional suppliers in Europe, mitigating any potential risk of production and supply shortages. The production of marine battery packs will take place in a cutting-edge, brand-new facility in Europe, renowned for its pioneering technology and unwavering commitment to the highest certification standards.”

Vision Marine CEO and co-founder Alexandre Mongeon said this production capability “Represents a monumental milestone for Vision Marine.” CTO and COO  Xavier Montagne added “With the acquisition of key industrial tooling and the unwavering dedication of our team, Vision Marine is primed to meet the ever- increasing demands of the marine sector.” 

ForzaX1 reports 1st quarter results, sales to start late 2023

electric boat news - ForzaX1 monohullOn May 9 Forza X1, which also trades on the Nasdaq Exchange as ‘FRZA’, reported its results for the first fiscal quarter of 2023. Jim Leffew, Chief Executive Officer and President of Forza X1, Inc. provided the update, edited below. The full report can be found at »» this link

Jim Leffew: “To date, Forza X1 has built-out and tested multiple units, including: three FX-style catamarans, two baycats, one deck boat and three 22-foot center console monohulls. The engine design, lower units and the control systems are continuously improved in each iteration. The monohull has been upgraded to a two-battery system and we have tested the system in a variety of conditions and operating environments.

“The batteries and engines are liquid-cooled and improvements to the heat exchangers have improved performance. We continue to improve our user interface through the Garmin control screen to provide well-designed pages showing operating characteristics and important control parameters. Additionally, our telematics unit has been adjusted to provide a better and easier to use interface. The telematics software is available on the Apple app store under the name Forza Connect.”

“We anticipate revenues from the sale of these fully integrated electric boats and motors to commence in late 2023 and early 2024. Forza X1 will continue to build prototype engines and boats for the next six to nine months.”

“Recently, we have engaged with several high-profile marine manufacturers and are offering our electrification expertise and hardware packages as a service. We are in the design phase to provide our solution to a nationally recognized boat manufacturer and are expected to build-out two demonstration units for their late summer dealer meetings. We are also in the process of creating a robust Forza website and a media day has been scheduled for July 8th in West Palm Beach, Florida.”

1st Avator electric outboard sold and registered in US.

electric boat news - Mercury Avator outboardThe first Mercury Marine Avator 7.5e electric outboard registered in the U.S. was sold on May 23 by NuWave Marine in Woodbury Heights, New Jersey. 

“We are thrilled to introduce the Mercury Avator electric outboard to the boating community in New Jersey and beyond,” said Nick Borrelli, NuWave VP of Sales and Marketing. “This innovative motor will not only provide boaters with a more enjoyable and environmentally friendly experience on the water, but it will also unlock hundreds of previously inaccessible lakes for them to experience.”

According to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. the state has about 400 publicly accessible lakes, ponds and reservoirs in total and about 125 have restrictions allowing only boats powered by electric engines. Avator will open these lakes to new exploration and fishing opportunities.

Mercury Marine sells about 50% of all outboards in the United States and introduced a demo of the Avator 7.5e as the first in its line of e-outboards at the Miami Boat Show in February 2022. It was fully launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 0f 2023 and the first production units were shipped to dealers from Mercury’s Wisconsin factory in April.

Read about the Avator journey as seen in Plugboats

The 7.5e generates 750W of power at the prop shaft and produces speed and acceleration similar  to a Mercury 3.5hp FourStroke outboard. Higher power models, the Avator 20e (2kW at the prop shaft) and the Avator 35e (3.5kW) will be in market later in 2023. The company has said it will announce a five electric models by the end of this year.

Gussies Award-winning solar boat now available for online order

electric boat news - freepower Solar BoatThe freepower Solar Boat, winner of the 2022 Gustave Electric Boat Awards in the category ‘Electric Boats Under 8m: In Development’ is now moving out of development and into production. The 7.1m (23.4 ft) craft is available in three models: the Utility, Cruise and Escape. All models have the same hull, motor, battery and solar panel specifications, te difference is in the finishings.

The hull is 100% aluminum, the motor is by fellow Norwegian company SeaDrive and has power of 5kW or 7.5kW, depending on the battery configuration. The solar panels have capacity of 1.6kW peak. Martin Bjurmalm, who began work on the freepower in 2018, said his goal was to create an autonomous boat with the “freedom to go whenever and wherever without fuel stops, with freedom to harvest the energy around us!” 

He developed a few prototypes before deciding on this final design, which has a cruising speed of approximately 4.5 knots (8.3 kmh / 5.2 mph) and a top speed of 7 kts (13 kmh / 8mph). The range without sun at cruising speed is up to 12 hours and 6o nautical miles, depending on conditions.

You can find out more and place your order on the freepower Solar Boat website.

Spirit Yachts launches foiling electric speedboat.

electric boat news - SpiritBARTech35EFThe foiling electric boat from Spirit Yachts and BAR Technologies that Plugboats wrote about in January 2022 has now come to life. Originally named the ‘Electric Flyer’, the final version is called the SpiritBARTech35EF. It has a top speed of 30 knots, (55 kmh / 35 mph) cruising speed of 22 kts ( and th companies say rang at cruising speed of 100 nm ‘is the longest range for an electric boat yet.’  

Read the original Plugboats story from January 2022  

The retro design has been masterfully crafted by the Spirit artisans with the frame and planking made of  Alaskan yellow cedar with decks of African sipo. There is a cockpit that can seat six closed off at the rear for a classic wooden runabout look and feel.

“Our collaboration with BAR Technologies is the epitome of the modern classic ethos on which Spirit Yachts was founded.” said Spirit Yachts CEO Karen Underwood of Spirit Yachts. “Beautiful, clean, classic lines and sustainable timber construction, married with forward-thinking technology from BAR.”

John Cooper, CEO of BAR Technologies said “This is a proud moment for us to bring this beautiful boat to market. We firmly believe that the future of this sector will be defined by developments in the sustainability and efficiency of vessels and that new hull forms can be designed to achieve it. We want to be at the forefront of this development.”

E-boat from former Tesla Exec signs up dealer for Spain and Portugal

electric boat news - BIG R30 boatBlue Innovations Group (BIG), led by the former Global Head of Manufacturing at Tesla, John Vo, has signed up Setsail World as official dealer for the R30 all-electric power boat being launched this fall.

The 30 foot (9 metre) boat can carry 12 passengers and has an all-electric 350kW motor with a kWh battery pack and solar charging capabilities. That gives it a top speed of 45 mph (39 kts / 62 kmh) with a ‘targeted nominal runtime of 8 hours.

Setsail World  is a dealer and charter provider in Spain and Portugal with a stable of power and sailboats. The R30 will be their first all-electric offering.

“The R30 perfectly fits the distances typically covered in recreational nautical tourism in Spain and Portugal.” said Alfredo Pérez founder and CEO of Setsail World. “It has impressive range, perfetct for silently exploring the stunning coastal landscapes of Spain and Portugal while respecting the delicate balance of the marine environment.”

“We’re excited to work with Setsail World as our first official dealer in Europe,” said Vo. “Their extensive knowledge and dedication to quality and customer service make them the ideal partner as we expand our customer base in Europe—the world’s second-largest boating market.”

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