The Future of Clean & Electric Boating Looks Bright

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The Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf and Ford C-Max Energi are the top three electric vehicles on the roadways, but what about our waterways? Electric cars aren’t the only vehicles transforming sustainable and economical transportation. Electric boats are also traversing historic waterways and canals that have been polluted with oil and noise. Electric boats may be the only watercraft permitted on municipal waters by 2020, and New Electric is already influencing the electric vehicles industry as an electric-conversion business dedicated to battery-powered boats.

Pollution-Free Boating

About 700 million gallons of oil pollute oceans every year, according to Clean Technica. Engine-exhaust from conventional boats and ships only worsens the harmful environmental effects. Not only is the ocean and air polluted, marine animals suffer from intense noise pollution. Watercraft are actually detrimental to sea life, such as orcas and dolphins, because of their sensitivity to loud sounds. Electric-converted watercraft are quieter and produce no air pollution.

The following video shows how a Volvo engine is replaced with an electric engine during the conversion process.

New Electric Projects

New Electric specializes in electric conversion components and techniques, and it’s also the European warehouse for EVTV (Electric Vehicle Television), which produces weekly videos for custom electric car conversions. Auto Blog Green highlights two of its most recent projects featuring electrically innovative, yet classic designs – the Ray Wright Delta and Nedcraft Silverback. The Ray Wright Delta is designed with an aluminum hull. The speedster shines with a Maranello Red paint job and boasts an electric drive train that includes:

  • HPEVS 35X2 AC motor
  • Liquid-cooled Curtis controllers
  • Battery pack with 48 CALB CA-series lithium cells

The design is clean, and a touchscreen tablet controls its instrumentation, communication and entertainment, describes Auto Blog Green. Sharing the pristine company of the Ray Wright Delta, the Nedcraft Silverback is also an aluminum-hulled aquatic masterpiece accented with mahogany detailing. It’s a slick design replicating Nelson Zimmer’s 1920 Palm Beach model. The conversion features a serial DC motor, Evnetics Soliton 1 controller and CALB CA cells.

Recreational Experiences

“Making electric boats isn’t just making boats cleaner; it’s making boats better,” explains Anne Kloppenborg, CEO of New Electric. Electric boats not only help reduce air, marine and noise pollution, the green vehicles create a more enjoyable experience. An electric motor provides power free of vibration and sound, and a state-of-the-art system has 100 percent torque available 24/7. By pumping the throttle, the boat has powerful toque without any need for a buildup. Boaters can experience the natural sounds of the water, waves and wind that are typically overwhelmed by engine noise and vibrations. Electric boats also connect people to the outdoors without relying on gas — the boat’s battery runs off electricity from any source.

Industrial, Commercial & Military Boats

Electric vehicles are also swiftly emerging within industrial, commercial and military sectors. The marine electric vehicle market could be a multi-billion dollar industry, according to IDTechEx. Electric watercraft are transforming seagoing, inland and underwater transportation, and leveraging EV technologies enhances vehicle performance. Licensed boaters can navigate electric boats for recreational purposes, whereas industrial markets can depend on electric watercraft for environmentally responsible market supply and transportation. As commercial and consumer interest in electric boats continues to grow, EV watercraft may just dominate nature’s bodies of water similar to the widespread adoption of hybrid electric cars on our roadways.

Article by Andy Wallace.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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