Frequently Asked Questions Electric Boats


Which EClass electric outboard motor is right for me?

In Australia, simply look on the boat builder’s compliance plate of your boat (or the boat you are intending to buy). It will state maximum kW or Horsepower HP allowed. It will also give maximum engine weight, passengers, and load. These are your top specifications. You happily choose to have lower specification electric outboards, especially if you are not interested in top speeds or going on the plane.

If you do not wish to obtain a boat licence or register your boat, you can choose our 4kW electric outboard which we can program for your local speed regulations. Different locations have different rules so check yours.

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I have a tinny (aluminium dinghy) which EClass electric outboard motor is right for me?

Firstly, look at the boat builder’s compliance plate, it will state maximum kW or HP allowed. In addition, here is a general guide of suitable portable electric engines:

Tinnies – 10 – 11 feet – 4kW electric outboard

Tinnies- 11- 12 feet – 6kW electric outboard

Tinnies – 12-13 feet – 10kW electric outboard

Tinnies –13 feet and above – 15kW to 20kW electric outboard

You happily choose to have lower specification electric outboards, especially if you are not interested in top speeds, carrying more than one passenger, or going on the plane.

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I have an inflatable IRB which EClass electric outboard motor is right for me?

Eclass electric outboards are great paired with IRB’s. Firstly, look at the boat builder’s compliance plate, it will state maximum kW or HP allowed. Here is a general guide to a suitable portable electric engine. Please contact us for further advice.

3m - 3.5m 10kW to 20kW electric outboard

4m and above - 20kW electric outboard

 

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I have a displacement boat/yacht which EClass electric outboard motor is right for me?

Firstly, look at the boat builder’s compliance plate, it will state maximum kW or HP allowed.

Here is a general guide of suitable portable electric engines for displacement launches and auxiliary motors on sailing boats.

4kW  HD Heavy Duty which requires no registration in NSW and ACT, check your local regulations.

6kW HD Heavy Duty and above which would require registration in some areas, check your local regulations

20kW Ultra - for larger displacement boats, houseboats, pontoon boats.

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Which battery is right for me?

We program and test all our electric outboards to maximise battery efficiency. We have recommended an entry-level Lithium -Ion battery for each outboard in our range, however, if you have custom requirements please contact us for further advice.

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Why do I need to buy a Lithium Ion battery from you?

Our electric outboards require high discharge Lithium-Ion batteries to achieve the power and range we offer. We program and test all our electric outboards to maximise battery efficiency. We, therefore, will not sell an outboard without our speciality battery or a battery we approve, as we program the outboard for that battery specification. We specially build the cases for marine applications with rounded edges, carry handles and an LCD display for trip planning.

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What is the range of the Lithium Ion battery?

We program all our electric outboards to maximise battery efficiency. All our outboard and Lithium-Ion battery combinations have been designed for a typical outing– with various speeds and stops. We test the range at Wide Open Throttle (WOT) and recommend an entry-level battery for each engine giving approximately 30 minutes at WOT and 2-3 times that at mixed speeds. All our batteries have an LCD voltmeter display so you can check how much range you have, as well as temperature readings.  If you are travelling long distances to your fishing spot, we recommend two batteries or using a pair of outboards (electric and combustion) in hybrid mode.

Contact us for further advice about the right battery for you.

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What maintenance do electric outboard motors require?

Like your other electronic rechargeable appliances, these outboards have very few moving parts. No preseason or postseason servicing is required.  No carburettor or gaskets to dry out in the offseason or engine oil to change. They have a similar cooling system to combustion outboards which means that if they have been in saltwater you should run freshwater through them after use. Any exposed nuts and bolts can be maintained with a WD40 type product. You may wish to change the gear oil in the leg over the life of the engine but modern oils are very good and like your car, your gears have many years in them with minimal attention.

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How long is the life of a Lithium Ion battery?

We expect our batteries to provide the equivalent of 10 years of fuel. The battery life is dependent on the number of deep cycle recharges it undergoes. These are in the 1000’s. Once charged the battery maintains its charge, with minimal charge loss per month so you can sit it in the garage, and it is ready for your next boating trip. These batteries can be upgraded as batteries improve.

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How do EClass electric outboard motors compare with 2 stroke outboards?

Firstly, in most developed countries importing or selling a new conventional 2 stroke outboard is illegal. If you have an old 2 stroke and are thinking of an electric upgrade these are the main points of difference. EClass electric outboards are a similar weight to 2 stroke outboards however 2 stroke develops its maximum power at peak revolutions while the electric outboard has maximum power in the more usable low to middle range. Our electric outboards have no pull starts, idling or choke adjustments or warming up.  No engine maintenance is required.

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How do EClass electric outboard motors compare with 4 stroke outboards?

4 stroke marine outboards are mechanically complex, require more complex maintenance and must be stored carefully.  Fuel must be purchased. Our electric outboards are lighter in weight, have few moving parts and do not need engine servicing. No pre or post-season servicing is required for an electric outboard, and as our batteries hold their charge indefinitely, once recharged, they are always ready to go.

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Can you custom design an electric outboard motor for me?

Yes, we can custom design for speed or range within our current engine range parameters.

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What waterways are suitable for electric outboards motor?

You can use an electric outboard for any waterway you would use a conventional outboard. They are suitable for both fresh and saltwater, however, we are providing portable electric outboards which are best suited to smaller craft and yacht auxiliary outboards.  Electric outboards are especially suitable for freshwater lakes, dams, and rivers as they have no emissions. Some restricted waterways only allow electric outboards. Please check your local restrictions.

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Why are electric outboard motors safer?

Electric outboard motors are safer than conventional ICE  (internal combustion engines) outboards because when the engine is stopped they are drawing no amps and the boat's propeller will not be pushing the boat forward or backward. With petrol outboards, if the operator goes overboard it is quite possible for the boat to keep going around and being a serious hazard for those in the water. To counter this a kill switch lanyard is recommended to be fastened to the operator's clothing - in practice, this rarely happens.  EClass Electric Outboards have a twist throttle return in aft control which automatically switches off the power if the operator lets go of the handle (great for kids) and in forward control, we have a similar system. No need for the operator to remember to wear a kill switch lanyard - and you won't have to nag your kids to put it on!

Fumes from fossil fuels are dangerous for your health, and there have been several tragic deaths from boat fumes over the years.  With no fumes to worry about or fire risk from fuel on board, you will have peace of mind.

 

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Why choose an electric outboard?

You know it's the future. You've seen all the news around EV's and now the marine industry is starting to get into electric propulsion. Electric boating is just a great experience. Low noise, no fumes, no pull starts - just push button and go, always ready. So easy to use. EClass electric outboard motors have all the power you need to replace petrol outboards or inboards 8hp to 40hp. You can now enjoy boating without polluting the waterways you love.

And spend more time boating and less time on expensive engine maintenance.

With new battery developments daily and the ability to solar charge batteries, we think electric boating is on the cusp of a revolution.

Thinking of making the switch?

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Why our planet will love you for going electric boating.

You may know that electric outboard motors are quieter and have no emissions compared to conventional ICE (internal combustion engine) outboards. But you may not know the damage that petrol outboards do to the ocean and marine life. In one study in South East Queensland waterways, it was found that boating pollution each year was 15 times worse than Australia's worst oil spill.

So when you switch to electric boats you not only stop that pollution but have a real impact on marine life. Shelled animals such as oysters, prawns, and micro animals which feed fish have difficulty forming shells when the water is acidified from pollutants like petrol and oil. This reduces their chance of survival. In another study on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, juvenile clownfish, (that's Nemo) had difficulty learning to recognize preditors when they were in a noisy boating environment. Boat noise also disturbs larger marine animals such as dolphins as the boat noise makes it harder for them to communicate.

And as an added bonus, if you have an outboard 9.8hp to 60hp suitable for retrofitting, you will stop it going to landfill and we will give you a discount!

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What are your concerns about electric boating?

When people are considering electric outboard motors they generally have one main concern. How long does the battery last? Well, that question is simple. Each model electric outboard motor draws maximum amps at wide-open throttle (WOT). These amps are determined with a dynameter but in real-life conditions that amp draw can be much less, depending on the conditions, boat design (displacement, planing, easily driven boats?), and load (passengers).

Batteries are usually described in kWh. This is the voltage x amp-hours divided by 1000. So we work out a typical boating outing of around 3 hours at mixed speeds and then match a battery to that engine. You can buy more batteries if you want longer on the water or intend to spend more time at WOT.

All our batteries have an LCD voltmeter display so you can check how much range you have, as well as temperature readings.

This leads us to the next concern. Cost. We recognize that electric outboard motors sell at a premium to petrol outboards and the batteries are an upfront cost. However, with electric boats all the costs are upfront. It costs the same dollars in fuel each hour you are on the water using a conventional petrol outboard. Electric offers a diminishing cost, especially if you are charging from solar.   And the maintenance costs are dramatically lower.

Recognizing that cost is a barrier, EClass Marine offers Australia's first low and no interest Green Loans. So you can pay off your batteries over 10 years and treat it as fuel cost.

Contact us for a lifetime comparison cost brochure of electric outboard vs hp petrol outboards. You will be surprised at how much you can save over the life of the engine.

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What is the cost of electric outboards?

Lots of people would like to switch to electric boating but are concerned that electric outboard motors and Lithium-Ion batteries will be expensive. EClass electric outboard motors do sell at a small premium compared to comparable petrol outboards but the lifetime cost of the engine is not as great. Electric outboard engines have very few moving parts and there is no regular maintenance needed for the powerhead. Petrol outboards need post and pre-season servicing and don't like to be stored for long periods of time without starting. Lithium-Ion batteries are an upfront investment - but you have to view them as 10 years of fuel supply. No more going to the service station or keeping fuel onboard your boat. As Australia's only electric outboard manufacturer we can offer Marine Green low and no-interest loans to Australian residents to help spread out this upfront cost.

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How reliable are electric outboard motors?

You don't want to get caught on the water with an unreliable outboard motor. That's where electric has the edge. With very few moving parts and no need to service the electric marine powerhead. For every boatie who has pull started a petrol outboard and not got it to go - you will love the push button and go handling of electric outboard motors. It's like your fridge. When did you last service a modern fridge? As there is no oil or fuel to spill you can store your electric outboard in any position, even in the boot of your car. We are Australia's only manufacturer of electric outboards so we know tough Australian boating conditions.

 

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Can electric boats be charged with solar?

With new battery developments daily and the ability to solar charge Lithium-Ion batteries, we think electric boating is on the cusp of a revolution. We use 96v on our engines and batteries but each comes with a fast charger that can plug into 240v mains and charge batteries in 2/3 hours. With enough solar on the boat roof and the right inverter, solar charging is possible. And in Europe the big container ship companies are now working with wind farms to develop offshore battery charging stations. The possibilities are endless.

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