Electric outboard motors seem to be springing up all over the place right now. We round up 11 of the best electric outboards on the market…
Electric outboard motors are nothing new, after all the humble electric trolling motor has been around for decades, but in the past couple of years a new breed of more powerful units has emerged.
Capable of powering everything from a tender to a 50-knot sportsboat, this new generation of electric outboard motors will surely play a big role in the growing trend towards all-electric boats.
We’ve rounded up 11 of the best options available on the market right now to help you track down the right one for cutting down your boat’s carbon footprint.
Compact electric outboard motors for your tender
Torqeedo 603 Travel
Power: 600W / 0.8hp
Torqeedo has been making electric outboard motors for quite a while now, and their latest offering slots into the travel range of electric outboards between the 503 (1.5hp) and the 1103C (3hp).
All the usual Torqeedo refinements are present and correct. IP67 rated as totally waterproof, the 603 Travel has a magnetic kill cord and an onboard computer providing instant readouts of operating range at current RPM and battery-charge status displayed on the tiller arm.
You can link it to an Apple or Android app and gain even more information including a map-based range indicator.
Mercury Avator 7.5e
Power: 750W / 1hp
Announced in early 2022 and launched less than a year later, the Mercury Avator 7.5e is the first electric unit from the world’s biggest builder of outboard engines.
The whole top plate hinges up to reveal the battery, which can be quickly removed from your electric boat or replaced for convenient charging.
It’s by no means the lightest electric outboard motor on the market, but its claimed range at 25% throttle is very impressive – we look forward to putting one to the test.
Not resting on its laurels, Mercury launched the Avator 20e and 35e this summer as well. These units are no bigger than the 7.5e, but need wiring in to an on-board battery bank.
Weight: 14.5kg (inc. bracket)
Power: 1kW / 3hp
Battery: 1,085 Wh
The idea behind the Remigo One electric outboard makes perfect sense; rather than mounting the battery on top of the shaft, like the engine on an old-school petrol outboard, the Slovenian company has integrated it into the shaft and shaped it like a rudder to minimise drag and maximise steering effect.
It is backed by a 2-year warranty and has a magnetic key/kill cord. There are some other neat ideas too. The rudder casing is waterproof to IP67 above the water and IP69 below the water so it will survive a dunking, and it’s held in place by a clamp mechanism that allows you to adjust the shaft length to suit your boat with the aid of an allen key.
The transom bracket is separate to the motor so you can leave the bracket attached to the boat and simply slot the motor on and off. The tiller also folds and locks parallel to the blade so you can use it as a perfectly balanced carry handle.
Power: 1kW / 3hp
If it’s light weight and value that you prioritise over cruising range, then this Norwegian option is hard to beat.
Launched in 2021, the Kicker boasts enough range and grunt to get one person from ship to shore and back again in calm conditions, as editor Hugo proved in a week-long test.
The only downside is that the battery isn’t removable, which can make charging a little more difficult.
Power: 1kW / 3hp
Range: Up to 1hr
A brand new option from France, the TEMO-1000 doesn’t look anything like a traditional outboard motor.
The design doesn’t have any rectangular box on top, just a rudder-shaped shaft with an electric motor at the bottom and a long slim battery that simply slides down into it, connecting automatically to your electric boat without having to plug wires into it.
The tiller arm does the same, meaning it disappears completely when not in use and yet it is never detached and therefore never mislaid.
Haswing Ultima 3
Power: 1kW / 3hp
A top-of-the-range option from trolling motor stalwarts Haswing, the Ultimate 3 is suitable for boats up to 7m long.
The brushless DC motor produces 3hp (claimed to be equivalent to a 4hp petrol outboard motor), and it’s available in short and long shaft versions as well as the standard length.
Not only is the detachable battery unusually light at 5kg (lightest in class, according to the manufacturer), it also connects to the engine in a single simple operation without the need for connecting cables or other fiddly parts – no bad thing when you’re bobbing about in a tender!
ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 Plus
Power: 1kW / 3hp
The original Spirit 1.0 has actually been in production for six years with over 10,000 units built. Featuring a 1,000W brushless motor, this electric outboard motor is claimed to be equivalent to a 3hp petrol engine, ideal for tender duties or small to medium sized dinghies.
This Plus version, launched in 2020, is the same weight, size and power – the big gain is where it’s needed most, run time. It has been achieved by upgrading the battery from 1,018Wh to 1,276Wh.
At the same time, the power cord has been upgraded for durability and reliability, and the voltage has been changed from 40.7V to 48V, making it compatible with an external 48V battery. The battery will even float if dropped overboard!
Most powerful electric outboard motors for day boats
Power: 3.7kW / 9.9hp
Battery: Sold separately
Range: Depends on battery
Announced in 2022 and tested on a 12m Venmar water taxi, the Yamaha Harmo electric boat drivetrain may be a rather modestly powered 3.7kW motor, equivalent to a 9.9hp petrol engine, but it is being seen as a major statement of intent from the Japanese brand synonymous with big, powerful four-stroke outboards.
Intriguingly, the Harmo is neither an outboard engine nor a sterndrive but a new propulsion package that borrows ideas from both camps.
It is mounted on the transom just above the waterline much like a sterndrive leg, but in keeping with the outboard engine ethos it’s an entirely self-contained unit that includes the motor and steering mechanism.
RAD Propulsion RAD40
Power: 40kW / 55hp
Price: £28,000 (ex. battery)
The RAD40 drive from British start-up RAD Propulsion appears to be far more than just a conventional outboard leg with an electric motor bolted on top.
Every single element of it has been designed from the ground up to maximise the benefits of electric power. The result is a brand new drive system that is not only much cleaner, quieter and more efficient than a petrol outboard engine but also smaller, lighter, cheaper to maintain and even more manoeuvrable.
In its current 40kW guise (equivalent to around 55hp) it’s powerful enough to propel everything from a 25-knot planing RIB to a 10-knot displacement craft but with a larger 160hp RAD120 as well as a portable tiller steered RAD2 already in development, it’s clear that RAD Propulsion has its eyes set on a much wider market.
Power: 110kW / 180hp
Launched in 2021 by Canadian firm Vision Marine Technologies, the E-Motion 180E looks like a genuine alternative to the 150-200hp petrol outboard motors that power the vast majority of 18-25ft sportsboats and RIBs.
The outboard engine itself weighs around 180kg, compared to 216kg for a 200hp V6 Mercury Verado, but that relatively modest saving pales into comparison next to the 400kg weight of the 70kWh battery pack.
Admittedly, a fair chunk of that will be offset by the lack of fuel tank and starter batteries, but unlike a petrol boat, the battery pack’s weight stays constant whether full or close to empty.
Power: 222kW / 300hp
Battery: 2x 63kWh
Although currently still in development, the Evoy Storm is a working prototype that has already been fitted to a number of partner brands’ boats, including an Iguana amphibious craft and an Axopar 25 that we tested at last year’s Cannes Yachting Festival.
Despite a 450kg weight penalty over a fully fuelled petrol boat, and five passengers, we still recorded a top speed of over 50 knots – vastly quicker than any other electric boat we’ve tested and not far off the world speed record for a production electric boat of 57.7 knots (held by a Goldfish X9 powered by a 400hp Evoy inboard).
The anticipated price for this electric Axopar 25 is €185,000 (ex tax), which looks pretty good value given that the price of the motor alone is €74,900 plus another €69,800 for the batteries. Whether Axopar can maintain, or even reduce, that price once the Evoy Storm enters production in 2024 remains to be seen.
Tip of the iceberg
If this seems like a lot of choice, there are even more options coming down the pipeline in 2024. MBY understands that several major outboard manufacturers are planning on entering the electric outboard market, so watch this space…
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