And although the marine industry does not have the same level of certification requirements, governments have now set their sights on (leisure) marine too. Not only on the diesel power trains, but also on the gas powered ones. In fact, California is trying to ban all small Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) -powered devices such as lawnmowers. This ruling may have an impact on small outboards too. The reason is simple, to save costs, many marine engines do not have an exhaust gas treatment system. A modern gas powered 5 hp 4-stroke outboard generates the same amount of greenhouse-gas emissions as 39 cars driving 95 km/h as a result.
Luckily, new technologies, such as electric drivetrains, have come down in price as volume goes up. These new technologies now prove to be a viable marine propulsion alternative to many eco-conscious consumers.
Our parent company, Saietta, has developed a highly efficient pancake-shaped motor that also proves its worth in traction applications such as scooters and light vehicles. We use this compact and ‘torqy’ 48 V motor in both our products and combine them with an automotive grade lithium battery pack. These solutions are relatively new, but in numerous instances they proved to be a good, accessible and clean alternative.
To convince you to switch over to emission-free electric propulsion, we collected multiple arguments on why you should avoid buying a fossil fuel powered marine engine in 2022.
Fossil fuels are the root cause of the environmental crisis
The environment asks for cleaner and more sustainable technology. We owe it to the next generation to do better and deliver emission-free alternatives, as ICEs have contributed to global warming and premature death caused by air-pollution.
So far, it appears that the OEMs currently producing ICE powered in- and outboard motors are still lacking this insight and sense of urgency. None of them has developed a serious alternative, available to consumers today. The comparison with the car industry cannot be greater, as several marine-equivalents of Tesla have come to market with great alternatives.
At Propel, it is our goal to propel boating into the electric era while advancing affordable and accessible electric propulsion and battery systems that support the transition to decarbonization and clean mobility on waterways.
Outboard engines generally don’t match well with sloop and tender designs
Isn’t this interesting? Spend half an hour watching sloops with an outboard motor, and you are puzzled why outboards are designed the way they are. Now try to unsee this the next time you are on the water. Design is important to us, and it plays an important role in our daily lives. It is not only for aesthetics, though, we try to understand who our customers are, and how they will use our product. Colour, materials, interfaces, ergonomics. It’s quite a task.
The electric outboard motor’s design follows classic Dutch aesthetics: it exhibits a simple, quirky style, with clean, uncluttered lines. The S1 is deliberately devoid of brash logos, names and power labels.
The unit’s round casing, high above the waterline, follows the form of the Saietta axial flux ‘pancake’ motor inside. Discreet ‘Propel’ branding is embossed into the white casing. Customers can choose their own styling accent with a choice of a Satin Silver, Sage Green or Nordic White finish to the shaft.
Some engines are not easy to operate
Fuel on your hands when refilling the jerrycan, carrying a fuel tank around, choking, pulling hard on the pull cord and again…
Not with our motors. Both the S1 and D1 are started with a simple flick of a switch. The colour display gives owners all the information users need to safely enjoy their time on the water. The display’s clear and simple animated graphics makes using the motors easy, even for those with minimal boating experience, and a great choice for rental fleet operators.
With a closed-loop cooling system, the motors also require minimal maintenance.
Theft is a serious problem, mobility too
Your outboard motor is an easy target for thieves, as figures from recent years show. And taking it home is no easy task. Modern outboards can provide clever anti-theft systems to prevent thieves from taking your motor, or to track it down and recover after someone stole it. Propel is working on traditional and digital anti-theft solutions that give you peace of mind.
In case you do need to remove the motor, we have chosen lightweight materials and techniques, to save weight without changing the overall performance characteristics.