It’s said that a conventional four-stroke petrol outboard produces as much pollution (smoke, CO2 and oil) as 38 cars running for an hour at 95 km/hr. And two strokes engines are even worse, as most of us know. Certainly an electric motor is safer to use, but does it have the punchy thrust you sometimes need on the water? Power Equipment says that they can prove it, with consumer models up to the equivalent of a 20 horsepower outboard pushing a runabout or tender at up to 32 km/hr. At slower speeds, the claimed range is up to 65 km and the batteries can be charged by solar panel as you travel.
Jason Hodder, Power Equipment’s Torqeedo Product Manager says, “This is an important shift in where the future of boat propulsion is heading. What Tesla has done for cars in making electric accessible and acceptable, we believe Torqeedo will do to create similar waves on the water.”
Founded in 2005, Torqeedo is a pioneering German brand at the global forefront of marine motor technology. The range includes an outboard for every purpose – from the super-quiet Ultralight motors fitted to kayaks for peaceful fishing trips, to the Cruise model built for power and long distances for boats up to 10 tons. They also save boaties money long term; Power Equipment, estimates the average boat user can save upwards of $500 a year on mechanical services and fuel costs.
Without petrol, electric outboards mean no exhaust fumes, or potential for oil leakage. They are also lightweight, easy to mount and transport, and of course there’s no need to yank starter cords. They are so quiet the fish won’t know you’re coming!
What about range? As part of Torqeedo’s standard equipment, the motor has an on-board computer with a in-built range monitor which tells you how much further you can go with the current battery life. The additional TorqTrac app overlays range information with a map of your current location to show a visual representation of how far you can travel at a given speed based on current battery power.
The motors are extremely efficient and use powerful and safe lithium batteries. The five-tier safety system used by Torqeedo for the lithium batteries includes safe battery chemistry and safe packaging of individual battery cells. A precise and clean production process incorporates a Battery Management System (BMS) with redundant safety features which meets the waterproof IP67 standard. These outboards are also saltwater-compatible, corrosion-protected, very robust and include an emergency magnetic kill switch.
They come in three consumer models:
Prices start from $2,500 and you can have a close look at a motor to suit your boat at the MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival’s Maritime Marketplace, from 10 to 13 February, 2017.