Vision Marine challenges polluting boats with its powerful electric motor

The tide turns. As electric cars gain traction on land, the nautical world also appears to be gearing up for cleaner transportation. General Motors recently unveiled an affordable electric pontoon boat created alongside Pure Watercraft, the Seattle-based electric boat maker in which the auto giant partly owns. But even though the environmental benefit of switching to electric boats is clear, the industry is largely hesitant to fully embrace the new era of transport.

Many companies are tackling this problem by advancing technology to make it affordable and desirable. One such company is Vision Marine Technologies, which has set out to challenge the traditional boating space with its latest electric motor. The E-Motion 180E is a quiet, smokeless 180 horsepower outboard motor that claims to be the most powerful electric motor in the boating industry today.

I spoke with the CEO and director of Vision Marine, Alexandre Mongeon, to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the electric boat market.

Nargess Banks: You say you are shaking up the traditional market with your E-Motion 180E, but how?

Alexandre Mongeon: This is the first fully electric outboard powertrain system with 180 horsepower and it is the most technically advanced electric outboard motor on the market today. The 180E produces zero pollution and zero emissions, requires marginal maintenance and provides a quiet environment. It can reach over 50 mph and turn any boat into an electric boat. Additionally, we recorded powertrain efficiencies of over 94%, well above the 54% efficiencies we recorded for our main competitor’s product.

What are its advantages over other electric motors?

E-Motion powertrain technology provides what we believe to be the only high-performance, production-ready electric outboard for personal watercraft that delivers exceptional speed and torque otherwise unavailable in the marine industry. Currently, the boating industry is experiencing a two-year backlog and supply chain issues. We have strategically entered into partnerships that allow the company to adapt its production to meet the initial high demand from major boat manufacturers.

There is a clear shift towards electrification on land and water. What are the possibilities within the marine scene?

For decades hybrid and electric vehicles have been gaining momentum as our society pushes for cleaner energy and now we are seeing the same push in the marine industry. In the early 2000s, eight million speedboats in the United States released 15 times more pollutants per year into the environment than the catastrophic oil spill produced by the oil tanker Exxon Valdez in 1989. Electric power on the marine scene is essential to solving the problems of our watercourse. Electric motors can minimize water pollution caused by traditional internal combustion engine, reduce emissions and conserve energy. This in turn directly contributes to zero pollution, zero emissions and a quiet environment.

It sounds like a win-win scenario, but what are the limits?

Really, the only limitations we see are accessibility and adoption. These two challenges are interconnected in that the technology is there, but not necessarily widely available at this point. Even if it were, there are so many false narratives and concerns about electric boat batteries and range that boaters are hesitant to want to explore the idea further.

And the possibilities?

Vision Marine is just one business and we are always in the process of generating greater visibility for what we do. At this point, it’s just about getting people to understand that what we have is a real, viable option for them and will give better results than they’ve ever had with a combustion engine powered boat.

Who are your typical customers?

Mainly large boat builders who have customers ordering all-electric boats. We provide them with our electric outboard motor systems to equip their boats.

And your competitors?

We do not consider other manufacturers of electric boats and motors as competitors. Our competition is the entire internal combustion engine industry. The more players in the electric boating space the better, because not only will it be good for our business through increased industry visibility, but it will also have a significant impact on greening. waterways.

How do you see the future of the electric boat?

Major industry players such as GM are entering this space, but it will be paramount for these companies to make meaningful progress here in order to see this more holistic approach to sustainability.

There are huge financial opportunities in boating electrification and so, if for no other reason, the private sector should get more involved here. And while Vision Marine is leading the way in terms of advanced technological capabilities, that doesn’t mean we don’t need other players in the game – especially those with recognized brands to help advance this effort. improve the health of our waterways.

Find out how the Swedish brand X Shore sees the future of e-boating; find out more about the French designer Philippe Starck’s solar-powered gondola; see Oceanco Kairos by Pininfarinaa yacht designed for meditation and contemplation and drifting away on old-fashioned hand-built wood Adirondacks Guide Boat. See also what yacht designers Bannenberg and Rowell say about the post-hedonistic future of yachts.

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