Drastically reducing the environmental impact of boats, reducing the emission of marine engines to zero and noise pollution are all characteristics that will engage all boat builders to face the challenges of the 21st century.
Volvo Penta, a company of the Swedish Volvo group, world leader in the construction of marine engines and propulsion systems for years now has as its main objective to drive progress in sustainable technology. For this reason it has concentrated all its efforts in the exploration of new technologies which aims to develop new inboard and sterndrive engines, with greater fuel efficiency and zero emissions thanks to hybrid, electric and renewable fuels which represent the new direction of the company. . As a result of this transformation process, the company has even suspended the development of the Seven 627 fuel outboard engines from 1 January 2021. from 627 hp, the most powerful in the world ever built, also interrupting sales and marketing, perhaps because they were considered few green by the new management of the group.
We recall that the Seven 627 was developed by Seven Marine a small American family company founded in 2010 which first managed with its 557 to build the most powerful outboard in the world of the 500 class with the amazing power of 557 hp and subsequently the 627 with an unparalleled power of 627 hp by transforming a car propeller into an outboard motor. In 2017 this company producing these powerful outboard motors was bought by the Volvo Penta group.
Volvo Penta with Seven Marine outboards could certainly increase its ability to do business but evidently the green soul of the company in line with its long-term goals which plan to produce zero-emission propulsion systems by 2050. through electricity supply, but also with hybrid and renewable fuels prevailed.
Even Mercury Marine, the American global motoring giant of inboard and sterndrive and outboard marine engines, is inevitably heading in the same direction, the road has now been traced the future is in the sign of green navigation. For this reason, Mercury Marine has been working for some time to find the best solutions in the production of marine engines capable of reducing emissions to a minimum and to propose new models that are increasingly suitable for preserving the integrity of the sea.
Today mechanical propulsion can boast this feature thanks to modern electric motors and in the near future Mercury Marine is ready to launch new electric outboard models on the market.
Meanwhile, at the Miami International Boat Show 2022 on February 16-20, the first Mercury electric outboard model named Mercury Avator was presented, highlighting Mercury Marine’s commitment to investing in development and research programs to constantly create new engines that represent the best in marine innovation, advanced technology and engineering and Aviator represents a large investment in the electrification process that the Company wants to pursue combined with over 80 years of experience in the maritime sector.
Until now, Mercury Marine is a leading company in the production of mass-produced endothermic marine engines, certainly among the best in the world in the construction of endothermic outboard engines intended to power pleasure boats, the challenge of the future, which is also the goal. Company of Mercury Marine, is to extend this capacity also in the production of electric marine engines.
In this regard Chris Drees, president of Mercury Marine made the following statement:.
“We are thrilled to formally announce this bold new phase of our vision for the future that only Mercury Marine can deliver.” sector both in internal combustion products and in electric propulsion. We are taking efficiency to a new level, opening up new ways to enjoy the boating experience ”.
“Our team is taking everything we know about how consumers use our products and incorporating it into Avator, creating an electric propulsion system that will set a new benchmark for the marine industry.”
During the presentation of the new Mercury Avator engine, Mercury Marine has not released any specifications on the engine, aesthetically it presents itself with the same lines as its larger four-stroke cousins, it is the first of a range of other 5 models to be announced in the coming months.
From the first rumors it seems that this first model is a small low-power, light and easily transportable engine, silent, fluid, easy to use with zero emissions and minimum maintenance that will make navigation more accessible even in areas closed to internal combustion engines.
For its simplicity of operation and for its exceptionally smooth and silent performance, Avator will allow anyone to enjoy the authentic pleasure of navigation without exhaust gases, no noise pollution or other emissions.
Aviator was built through a long research program with numerous tests both in the laboratory and offshore. From the engine to the hydrodynamics, everything has been optimized.
To maximize the use of the electric motor in the water, to be able to count on an autonomy comparable to that of an endothermic engine, Avator is powered by an ingenious system of portable, removable and interchangeable fast charging batteries.
This system allows you to easily disconnect the power supply battery of the engine, mounted on the transom of the boat, to be replaced if necessary by others of the same type.
An integrated display shows all information on battery charge and engine operation.
Speaking of which, Tim Reid, Mercury Marine’s vice president of product development and engineering, wanted to make the following comment:
“Mercury has the strongest and most robust engineering and technology teams in the industry who are shaping new marine powerhouse that expands the brand into new applications.” “We believe features such as easily replaceable batteries and quiet operation have great appeal for current and potential boaters. We expect our range of electric offerings to expand over time and will continue to listen to consumer feedback and monitor adoption trends. ”
The footprint and weight have also been optimized for ease of transport to eliminate the need for a large towing vehicle.
It will be interesting to know the price of this first electric outboard in order to be able to compare it with an endothermic four-stroke outboard with the same size and performance, produced by the competition but also by Mercury itself, and then evaluate the behavior in the water when the larger sizes come out.
In theory we could say that the disadvantages of electric motors do not exist, however many boaters ask themselves the question where and how the batteries are disposed of.
For some time there have been various recycling processes for most of the materials used for accumulators, these processes are less polluting than the elements released by a normal internal combustion engine during its life.
So we can conclude that the electric solution is a concrete option for pleasure boating and in many cases also for the professional one and is currently the most ready and undoubtedly the most suitable for preserving the integrity of the sea.