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Electric outboards, the new way forward?

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

Its been all over the news recently, the UK Government are looking to phase out petrol and diesel outboards in favour of new electric propulsion versions. In this blog we aim to answer your questions and look at what options are available on the market so far for the UK consumer!

Electric outboard blog

What are the main advantages of an electric outboard?

The main benefit is although electric motors can be expensive on initial outlay to purchase, there is relatively very little to go wrong in comparison with traditional outboards and so in the long run will keep maintenance costs to a minimum. They can be lightweight and on some models, separate into several parts meaning easier handling and storage. They are considered to be more environmentally friendly as they do not pollute the atmosphere. (However see disadvantages) As more research and a wider understanding of what is needed increases, electric outboards are advancing quickly and with electronic displays , battery and control options for tiller, side and top mounts, the future of electric outboards is looking very exciting!

What are the disadvantage's of an electric outboard?

As with every pro there are cons too. Although lightweight, the running time is considerably less than current alternatives on the market. As such, some will consider investing in larger batteries or a spare to fall back on or purely to increase their leisure time, be mindful that the batteries can be heavy and therefore this also must be considered when purchasing. Batteries also do need some looking after depending on the type you buy, lithium are virtually maintenance free whilst other versions will need some attention and their lifespan can vary depending on usage and charge time (always refer to manufacturer guidance and follow it to get the ultimate performance from your battery.) Don't forget you will also need to charge the batteries so this is a further running cost. Although thought to be environmentally friendly, the production of the outboard and battery disposal must be considered! The main disadvantages however, are initial price and currently, although some higher KW/HP motors are in production, their supply is limited and the majority available in the UK are up to a modest 6KW/9.9hp.

How long will a battery last on an electric outboard?

It depends on a few factors..

  • Which electric outboard you choose

  • Which battery size you choose

  • Your usage

Electric Mercury Outboard

There are many variations to choose from but it boils down to what your individual needs are. If you wish to pootle along a river or lake taking in the sights and doing a spot of fishing, your battery may last several hours, but if you want to go flat out and get home quickly, then most will give you about 70-90 mins run time.

So, should my next outboard be electric?

The answer very much depends on you, but factors to consider are, usage, electric consumption whilst charging, charging points, running times, overall running costs. If you are using your outboard daily, for long periods or are heading out in to the ocean where changeable weather conditions may mean you need that extra power to get you home, then electric might not be for you at this point in time, (but watch this space, higher KW/HP outboards with longer battery times are on the agenda)

Electric ePropulsion outboard

Rob Perry Marine stock electric outboards by ePropulsion and Mercury Marine, if you would like to know more detail in regards to operation and pricing, please give us a call 01297 631 314.

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