WHY THE MARINE ELECTRIC INDUSTRY IS SET TO BOOM
If 2020 is the year of the electric car, then the year of electric vessels must be on the horizon.
Electric industry experts predicted that 2020 was set to be the year of the electric car, with flagship ‘green’ models launching from the world’s favourite brands and a sharp increase projected in the number of electric vehicle models to be available to European buyers (from 100 to 175 by the end of this year). Many nations are fully committed to switching to these environmentally-conscious automobiles as soon as possible, seeing an opportunity to lower their pollution levels by committing to this zero-emission technology. In fact. Germany recently announced that all cars manufactured there will be electric by 2030, while the UK and France have banned new petrol and diesel cars from 2040.
But what about the marine industry? Boats and watercrafts may have been slower to join the electric wave, but a revolution is underway, with innovative companies leading the charge. Below, we look at why electric is the future of boating and some of the incredible advancements that have already been made.
Boats & water toys join the electric industry
What are the benefits of electric vessels?
- Electric boats and watercrafts produce no harmful emissions, meaning going electric is much better for the environment. Electric motors are also far more efficient than fuel-burning engines. If you want to keep exploring our planet for years to come, electric vessels are the only sustainable choice.
- Electric boats and toys also run in almost silence – a big change from noisy diesel and gasoline engines. This means those aboard can chat and enjoy the sounds of nature.
- Generally, a great deal less maintenance is needed, as electric motors have fewer moving parts. Electric vessels have a much less intense winterisation process, simply requiring the cooling water to be emptied.
- Electric boats and water toys boast unbeatable acceleration, with no lag time between actions. Handling is typically easier, allowing for more precision in your control.
- Generally, as an electric boat navigating silently and emission-free, you are able to secure a better berth.
Electric boats and toys already making their mark
Alongside our world’s first Electrojet, there are already so many incredible electric vessels out there, each one causing the industry to rethink its love affair with fuel-burners.
In terms of electric boats, the X Shore Eelex electric sports boat has been hailed as the Tesla of the sea. It uses an innovative propulsion system that it claims propels the boat with greater efficiency through its single shaft construction. Meanwhile, COMO Yachts has been creating industry-leading electric boats since 2011 – its latest model, the 9.75m Como 32S, is the fastest electric yacht in its class. COMO yachts always include exciting features that make them stand out from the crowd, such as iPad control and a carbon fibre structure.
Looking at toys and watercrafts in the electric industry, the Manta5 Hydrofoiler XE-1 is a water bike like no other. Much like using an electric bike on the ground, the rider can choose how much electric assistance they would like while pedalling their way through the water. Not to mention, it breaks down to conveniently fit inside your vessel as you travel. For those who want the snorkelling experience without getting wet, the Aeon Explorer uses a solar-backed electric drive to slowly move riders around the ocean, with an acrylic panel down to the water. Hydrofoil surfboards such as the Lift eFoil have been popular for a few years now, allowing riders to fly above water without the need for wind or waves. And of course, our world’s first electric PWC for sale offers near-silent cruising, ultra-fast charging and a technically-advanced design that looks extremely sleek and feels extremely comfortable. These all offer very worthy competition to their combustion engine alternatives.
What does the future hold?
There are already over 100 manufacturers of electric boats and ships, according to a recent IDTechEx report, and the sector is growing fast. In fact, the market for hybrid and pure electric non-military vessels is predicted to hit over US$20 billion by 2027.
Although some electric vessels are currently at higher price points, the report predicts that these costs will quickly fall due to increasingly cheap electricity, energy harvesting (through sun, waves, tides, and wind), and reliability. What’s more, many electric water toys on the market are already priced competitively.
Many governments are also waking up to the fact that marine pollution is a serious issue, with Amsterdam aiming to gradually ban all combustion engines, including boats and ships, in a large part of the city from 2025. Paris plans to reach this same stage by 2030. Non-electric watercrafts are already banned at a number of lakes and national parks worldwide. This may mean we see increased political support for vessel owners, for example through diesel scrappage schemes and VAT incentives.
It seems then, that electric vessels will in time become the new normal, protecting the environment for generations to come.