ePropulsion motors on with launch of X Series
ePropulsion’s Steve Bruce (global OEM sales director) has revealed that electric motors are enabling a new style of sailing. Speaking at the launch of the company’s new X Series at METSTRADE, he says ePropulsion’s learning that those utilising an electric motor ‘never turn it off’.
“It just makes the sailing that little bit better,” says Bruce. “For a catamaran, it helps you get the thing through the wind, helps you point that little bit higher, makes the head sail fill more nicely – it enhances the experience rather than detracting from it.”
Bruce’s attention is currently very much focused on catamarans, not least because they’ve got “real estate for putting solar panels on, hulls efficient for boat speeds, which makes hydro regeneration a sensible thing and the type of people who but catamarans want to be off-grid so we can make that happen for them.”
The company has now expanded its product portfolio of with the full launch of a brand-new X Series which comprises three electric outboard motors, the X12, X20 and X40. They all offer a total powertrain efficiency of 88.2 per cent. ePropulsion says its dedicated R&D unit formulated a unique algorithm for the X Series’ propellers, refining over 20 key metrics to ensure optimal hydrodynamic performance. The X Series features a compact, fully integrated design, unifying electric steering, power trim/tilt, the electric control unit (ECU) and the controller within a single assembly.
“The X12, X20, and X40 all operate on same architecture as the I Series,” says Bruce. “We make everything ourselves so the batteries which work for inboard motor, work for outboard motor, and the pod motor. That architecture can be replicated which means from a boatbuilder’s perspective, it becomes very simple.”
He says that Danny Tao, co-founder and CEO of ePropulsion, set out to be number one in the industry. “That was his mindset from day one. We have a fixed market in the sub-24m vessel. But we can see that in several regions already we have got the dominant market share. In the UK, for example, we have 15 per cent of market share on small outboards. No other electric company is anywhere near us, we’re picking off the companies one by one where we can achieve that.
“Our success is down to things including service culture – when you buy the motor that’s the start of the relationship. Like anything within the marine world. The day you sell somebody a boat is not the end of the relationship, it’s the beginning of the conversation – that’s the reality. It’s no different with motors.
“I firmly believe that electric can take 100 per cent of the market sector – sub 24m – why not? It’s more cost effective, there’s less maintenance and ultimately total cost of ownership over life of product is less than combustion. Before you even think about sustainability angles, electric’s a better economic solution.”