AWARDS 2020 | Best Electric Outboard Motor Supplier – Torqeedo

Best Electric Outboard Motor Supplier – Torqeedo (A pair of Torqeedo 10kW electric outboards fitted on the French hydrographic boat Cassiopée)
Best Electric Outboard Motor Supplier – Torqeedo (A pair of Torqeedo 10kW electric outboards fitted on the French hydrographic boat Cassiopée)

Best Electric Outboard Motor Supplier – Torqeedo

German-developed and -manufactured Torqeedo electric outboard motors have rapidly become well known globally. While initially, most were seen on leisure boats, now they are increasingly being adopted on a wide range of workboats.

Two recent examples were reviewed by Baird Maritime during 2020. They were both very interesting craft made particularly impressive by their Torqeedo propulsion systems. Both, also, were designed and built to be truck-transportable, a feature considerably enhanced by their propulsion systems.

The quiet, economical, emission-free performance of their Torqeedo outboard motors made both vessels particularly suited to their designed roles. One was an English-designed and -built, litter and debris collection vessel with a simple, single Torqeedo 10 installation with lithium-ion battery. The other is a French-built diesel electric hydrographic survey boat (pictured) with twin Torqeedo 15kW outboard motors, again with lithium-ion batteries designed and built by Torqeedo.

Both have system status monitoring equipment that give accurate readings of range at current speed and can be charged overnight from the mains. The French boat has diesel power for when high speed is required but, for normal harbour survey work, its Torqeedo system offers three to seven knots with six-hour endurance at five knots. This, surely, is the future for many workboat operations.

"Torqeedo takes a holistic system approach toward electric drive design," the company told Baird Maritime. "When you buy a Torqeedo system, you can buy motor, batteries, displays, solar charge controllers, and throttles that are all tested and proven compatible and that provide the best, most stable and hassle-free user experience possible. This matters when you're a professional user – you need something that you can rely on and one phone call to make if something goes wrong."

Building upon its reputation for compatible and reliable products, Torqeedo introduced new offerings in 2020. Among these is the system architecture for the company's high-power Deep Blue engines. Called TorqLink, the system is now available for select cruise low-voltage systems as well.

Torqeedo also introduced "plug and play" hybrid or solar systems up to 20 kW that are even simpler to use and install compared to earlier Torqeedo models of the same power range. There are also new products for electric and hybrid water taxis and passenger ferries that the company will be announcing over the coming weeks.

When asked how it fared during 2020 amid an ongoing pandemic and other challenges, Torqeedo replied that the market, particularly the retail and recreational business segments, were "incredibly strong" over the past year.

"Workboat projects have been slow or even stalled due to the pandemic but we're starting to see movement again. As we start to emerge from this global crisis, we are also hearing increased interest in investing in a 'green recovery'. Governments are signalling they will invest in projects that have a positive impact on not only the economy, but also the environment and human health. This can only have a positive effect for e-mobility in the commercial marine sector."

The company said that, due to electric outboards' overall low total costs, low maintenance requirements, and eco-friendliness, more and more of these engines will be installed commercial vessels in the coming years.

"Batteries will continue to improve in energy density," Torqeedo told Baird Maritime, "though any huge breakthroughs are probably still five to 10 years away from making it to the commercial marine market. Short-term usability gains will also be found in faster charging and in adding sustainable methods of charging, like solar and hydro-generation."

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Baird Maritime / Work Boat World