Honda’s combustion engine outboard motors are a common sight on the back of boats in marinas around the world. But those motors could be going green one day thanks to a new Honda electric outboard shown off recently at the Dusseldorf Boat Show.
Honda electric outboard motor
The new boat motor is reportedly still a prototype, but the design looks to be fairly refined at this point.
The transom-mount electric outboard was shown off without specs, so we don’t know how much power it will provide. But judging by its size, it doesn’t look to be a very high-performance motor. It’s likely designed for small and lightweight electric boats and may come with a power rating in the 1-3 hp range.
Due to their compact size and high torque, small electric outboards provide equivalent performance to combustion outboards with 2-3x the power rating. We’ve seen 1 horsepower electric outboard motors that perform similarly to 3 hp combustion models.
While we didn’t receive any specs on the motor itself, we do know that Honda has designed it to work with the company’s Mobile Power Pack e. That’s the Gogoro-style portable battery pack that Honda developed and is attempting to turn into a battery standard for swappable power supplies.
It is already used in several of Honda’s electric scooters, and the company has revealed concepts that could see it used in other mobility products like micro-EVs.
Electric boats booming
Top comment by Johnny Vector
Don't forget ePropulsion. I am fairly happy with my Spirit 1.0 from them. It's rated as 3 HP, and performs about like a 3 horse on my 15' fiberglass skiff, despite only drawing a peak power of 1000 W (~1.3 HP). It's slower than the Yamaha 9.9 it replaced, and the 12V charger is annoyingly low-power, but they already have a better charger, and "slower" means 22 minutes instead of 18 for the trip I make with it. On the good side, winterizing and spring make-ready is just taking it off and putting it on the boat (and it only weighs about 40 lbs, battery included). Plus it's so silent you can sneak up on eagles!
It's very similar to the Torqeedo 3 HP unit, and near as I can tell the Merc also has almost identical specs (although I notice they put "7.5" in the model number to try to fool people – I hope the FTC takes notice).
Electric outboard motors, a step up from basic trolling motors, are a growing industry as electric boats become more popular on the water.
Just a few weeks ago we saw an interesting new entry into the market from Mercury. The company revealed a new electric outboard with swappable batteries known as the Avator 7.5e, which will be followed by larger and more powerful electric motors in the Avator line.
A new electric boat, the Veer X13, was already announced to make use of the Avator 7.5e motor.
Other companies like Torqeedo have a large number of electric powertrain options that are common in the electric boating world.
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