What is the advantage of an electric outboard?
„10 good reasons to buy an electric outboard“
Battery operated outboards ...
- are quiet,
- low emission,
- low vibration,
- low maintenance (as electric boat motors usually have no gearbox),
- low in weight (after use they can be easily packed and taken away to prevent theft),
- need no oil,
- have very low mechanical wear,
- have good torque even at low speeds,
- are altogether more environmentally friendly than outboards running on petrol or diesel,
- are constantly improving in performance, range and speed due to ongoing development.
If you want an alternative way to power your boat, electric outboards are the perfect solution.
What affects the performance of an electric outboard?
When it comes to outboard performance, the question of "How fast is an electric outboard?", „What's the range of an electric outboard?" and „How long will an outboard run without losing power?" comes up.
The range of your electric outboard depends on a number of factors, including boat type, load (weight), water current, speed (slow speed, half throttle, full throttle), how you drive, the efficiency of the outboard and battery capacity.
Note: The harder you open the throttle, the more your electric outboard's running time will decrease. An electric outboard has a shorter range compared to petrol outboards, but they can come up to speed pretty quickly, as they have rapid acceleration.
Performance example of electric outboards
To give you an idea of how various electric outboard motors perform, we have compiled information on a selection of outboards below: The TRAVEL 1103 CS electric outboard from the Torqueedo Travel series can cover a distance of around 40.0 nm (74 km) at a slow speed of approx. 2.0 knots (3.7 km/h). At this speed, this electric outboard can run for about 20 hours. At full throttle, it can reach speeds of up to 5.5 knots (10.0 km/h) and cover around 4.6 nm (8.3 km). This means that the Torqueedo 1103 has a difference in range of 65.7 km between slow ride and full throttle. You'll get around 50 minutes out of the battery at full throttle.
The CRUISE 2.0 RL Electric Outboard Motor / Long Shaft from the Torqeedo Cruise series can cover a distance of around 27.0 nm (50 km) at a slow speed of approx. 2.7 knots (5.0 km/h). Running time at this speed is around 10 hours. At full throttle, it can reach speeds of 7.0 knots (13.0 km/h), has a range of 8.0 nm (15.0 km), and the battery will last for 70 minutes. Unlike motors in the Travel series, Cruise models have an external battery.
The "CRUISE 2.0 FP Pod Drive", can cover a distance of approx. 24.3 nm (45 km) at a slow speed of around 2.7 knots (approx. 5 km/h). Running time is 9 hours at this speed. At full throttle, it can reach speeds of 11 km/h (6.0 knots), has a range of 10.5 nm (19.5 km), and a running time of 1 hour 45 minutes. Torqeedo Pod Drive electric motors are firmly mounted to the hull.
The Temo electric outboard has a running time of approx. 80 minutes at slow speeds, 60 minutes at normal speed and 40 minutes at full throttle.
Speed, distance and running time of Minn Kota outboards depends, as with other makes, on a number of factors. No specific examples are given by the manufacturer.
Note: Some electric outboards feature a built-in on-board computer that shows the remaining range.
How efficient are electric motors for boats?
Compared to internal combustion engines, electric outboards have linear torque, which makes them more efficient than classic outboards. However, it is not possible to compare them using kW or HP data. According to Torqeedo, the Cruise 2.0 electric outboard with 2,000 watts input power can be compared to a 3,700-watt petrol outboard (5 hp).
What electric outboard should I buy?
What is important to know when you buy an electric outboard? If you want to buy an electric motor for your boat, there are various factors on which you should base your decision.
The power of the motor is important to get the right performance for your boat. While Torqeedo refers to motor power in kW and an equivalent horsepower figure, Minn Kota gives a maximum boat weight for each outboard motor with battery.
The dead weight of the outboard electric motor can also be important if you plan to take it off the boat after each use.
Before you buy an electric boat engine, think about why you want to buy one and how it will be used. What distances do you want to cover and how long should its runtime be?
If buying an electric motor for a dinghy, find out about battery charging time and if quick chargers are compatible. Electric outboard motors have limited battery power and are not suitable for longer distances. The outboard battery should be charged and discharged carefully, as both overcharging and deep discharging can damage it. Please also remember to pay attention to charging times. The charging time for electric boat motor batteries varies greatly and can be several hours, depending on the model and charger. You can find more information in the product descriptions or instructions.
Make sure that the motor you are interested in buying is suitable for the type of water you intend to use it in (freshwater, seawater). Not all electric outboards can be used in all water types. Using an electric boat drive in saltwater can void the warranty if it is not approved for use there.
An electric outboard might not be right for you if you want to go fast and sail in waters with strong currents.
Why should I buy an electric outboard?
Helping you to decide what outboard to buy
Our SVB experts recommend buying an electric outboard motor if you:
- have a smaller inflatable or dinghy that is up to 2.50 m in length
- want to visit nature reserves and regions where there are restrictions on petrol engines.
- want to use your motor mainly for fishing.
- want a low-maintenance, low-wear motor that is simple to operate and keep in good condition.
- want your motor to be light in weight.
- have the means to charge the battery or batteries easily.
- want to cover shorter distances, speed is not a priority for you and you are travelling on waters with little current.
Do I need a licence for an electric outboard?
In Germany you can use outboard motors of up to 15 HP without a boat driving licence, but there are some exceptions. SVB has electric outboard motors with a power rating of up to 8 hp, and most of them do not require a licence. Please check carefully whether you are allowed to drive your electric outboard motor without a licence where you are.
Written by our SVB (technical) experts
Our team of SVB technical experts is there to give our customers professional advice on all matters relating to technology on board. Their expertise is the result of regular training and many years of experience.