Torqeedo, until now the ‘go-to’ electric outboard motor brand, looks as though it may finally have some competition with the arrival in the UK of the new ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 Plus.
The original Spirit 1.0 has actually been in production for four years with over 10,000 units built. Featuring a 1,000W brushless motor, this electric outboard is claimed to be equivalent to a 3hp petrol engine, ideal for tender duties or small to medium sized dinghies.
This new Plus version 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!
The results are interesting. At full throttle (the least flattering figure for any electric motor) ePropulsion claims a run time of 75 minutes – impressive, but also a very strong showing against a 3.5hp petrol outboard with an integral fuel tank.
ePropulsion reckons its motor will run for 50% longer – scotching the usual argument against electric outboards that the range doesn’t compare well with petrol equivalents.
At half speed the Spirit 1.0 Plus can cruise for five continuous hours, around 22 miles, and at trolling speed, 10 hours of run time is great for fishing.
Better yet, add an E-Series LiFePO4 battery to extend the full-throttle run time to two hours with the E40 battery model, four hours with the E80 and nine hours with the new E175.
All the usual electric outboard benefits remain – no pull-starting required, no petrol to store, no servicing, and near-silent running.
Prices start from £1,600.