A new force in electric marine motors

In: stories

Nov 15, 2021

Leading global engineering company, Saietta Group, today announced the launch of Propel, its state-of-the-art marine propulsion division that is dedicated to designing and developing a range of innovative electric motors to advance the electrification of the marine industry while supporting decarbonization and delivering sustainable and clean mobility on waterways. Premiering at the Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) in Amsterdam on 16 November, Propel will showcase two highly innovative propulsion technologies – the Propel S1 and Propel D1. 

The S1 – a leader in outboard efficiency

Propel’s first outboard motor, the Propel S1, can generate 10kW continuous output from a 48V battery. When mated to the in-house developed propeller, it can generate 7.35kW of propulsive power, equalling a 25hp internal combustion engine (ICE) in terms of acceleration and top speed.

Computational fluid dynamics software was used during development to design a bespoke four-blade propeller with optimal balance between size and motor performance, making the most of Saietta’s industry-leading AFT 140 motor and realizing an overall efficiency of up to 62%.

Propel S1 outboard

An advanced motor controller is integrated on top of the electric motor, sharing the cooling system and connected by bus bars. This integration significantly improves packaging and assembly, it reduces cost and simplifies the overall design.

 Propel is not only a company of technology and innovation, its ultimate goal is to design worry-free experiences. Technology must not only be robust — all electronics sit above the water line so this might be the last motor you will ever need to buy — but also simple to operate, for everyone.

 Although the outboard has an English electric motor at its heart, 'Dutch Design' has played a significant role in the development of Propel’s first outboard motor. Dutch Design is a philosophy well known for innovation and its focus on sustainable products. Design is crucial for boat owners, and they haven’t been spoilt for choice when it comes to a standout design that will spark conversations.

Design is not all about aesthetics though, the S1 is designed for people. Propel’s UX team worked relentlessly on designing and testing user interfaces that work for all consumers, not only aspiring pilots.

The launch edition of the Propel S1 will be available in a satin silver and white finish with either a tiller, or a top mount controller and remote steering provision. Both the tiller and remote controller feature an integrated waterproof and sunlight readable display, an electronic key and a kill switch.

The S1 can be commissioned to be used with foreign batteries. Propel’s own marine grade lithium batteries (LFP) will become available early next year, coinciding with the first deliveries of the Propel S1.

 The Propel S1 outboard motors are currently undergoing extensive testing and certification. From Spring 2022, Propel will start shipping its first motors to customers in Europe on a first come, first served basis. The expected price of the Propel S1 is €5.900 (incl. VAT). Pre-ordering for Germany and the Benelux starts today via a €100 fully refundable deposit at www.propel.me. More European markets will follow later in 2022.

The D1 – a ready-made diesel engine replacement

Propel’s second new and high-tech product, the Propel D1, is an inboard series of electric crate motors designed specifically to replace ageing diesel engines and enable the transition to marine electrification hassle-free. The D1 inboards are small but have everything built in, with no external controllers or pumps. Propel engineers made it their mission to make the transition to electric as easy as possible; simply take an old diesel out, install the motor on the same foundation, connect drive-shaft, water and battery, and you are ready to go.

The D1 incorporates Saietta-engineered Axial Flux Technology. The unique AFT motors provide class-leading performance with high torque density at low voltage. The result is an advanced propulsion solution that emits nothing but a soft, low hum, going further on a single charge and resulting in more time on the water.

Propel D1

The motors and controllers are cooled using a closed-loop arrangement, crucially meaning a virtually maintenance-free experience for customers and higher sustained performance for a longer period. The D1 range uses only low voltage motors, making it easier to source the best batteries and ensuring they are safe to install and operate on existing applications. All D1 inboard motors also ship with a high-quality sunlight readable 5” display and a side mount throttle lever, as well as a DC-DC converter to power onboard 12V devices.

 First deliveries of the D1 will start early spring 2022 and pre-ordering for Germany and the Benelux starts today at www.propel.me. The base price of the motor without battery is €6.700 (incl. VAT) and launch kits with marine Lithium (LFP) batteries will be available for order. More European markets will follow later in 2022.

From a 48V battery the D1 can generate 10kW continuous output with a torque of 60 Nm, (105 Nm peak), equalling a 20hp internal combustion engine (ICE). It has a maximum propeller speed of 1440 RPM.

Wicher Kist, chief executive of Saietta Group and founder of Propel, said: “Helping the world go further and accelerate towards a cleaner and more sustainable future has always meant more than just road transport to Saietta. It’s been a long-held ambition of mine to bring Saietta’s AFT electric motors to busy waterways, and I’m delighted to see that come to fruition today with the launch of our new subsidiary Propel.”

 Sander van Dijk, Propel’s managing director and chief technical officer, added: “When developing the Propel brand, it became immediately clear that users want simple and worry-free access to cutting-edge electric propulsion technologies that don’t sacrifice style over substance. We have developed our brand around these principles; firstly, no motors and electronics below the waterline, a robust drivetrain that is virtually maintenance-free is key. And secondly, our advanced products must be simple and safe to operate by everyone.”

“Propel products combine the best in Dutch design principles with a simple and fun user experience underpinned by quality systems informed by some of the world’s leading tech engineers. Electric propulsion isn’t a solution, it’s a leap forward and it’s happening in every other aspect of life. We’re proud to be bringing this innovation to the water.” 

The launch of Propel coincides with increasingly stringent legislation centred around emission-free waterways and marine electrification as a means to help fight climate change. The City of Amsterdam has announced plans for its canals to be emission-free by 2025 accelerating the adoption of electric boats and ships.

Propel will be showcasing its technology at the Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) at Amsterdam RAI convention centre, hall 5, stand number 05.671, from 16 to 18 November.

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