FULL STEAM AHEAD FOR ELECTRO!
ELECTROMOBILITY IS CHANGING THE MARITIME ECONOMY. ALTERNATIVE AND INNOVATIVE PROPULSION SYSTEMS ARE ALSO GAINING GROUND IN THE MARINE SECTOR. IN JULY, THE LATEST EMISSION-FREE HIGH-TECH BOAT DRIVES WERE PRESENTED AT THE SOLAR AND ENERGY BOAT CHALLENGE IN MONTE CARLO.
The Principality of Monaco is a center for the development of sustainable yacht technologies. Recently, the world’s first network of fast chargers for electric boats was put into operation here and the Monegasque harbor boat fleet is being converted to fully electric operation.
At the Solar and Energy Boat Challenge, 34 teams of students from 14 countries raced with self-built, solar-powered and emission-free boats. Torqeedo, part of the DEUTZ Group since 2017, worked with the Yacht Club de Monaco to ensure that all boats participating in the competition are 100 percent emission-free and electrically powered. As the official technical sponsor of the boat challenge, Torqeedo was also a co-organizer of the “Electric Days” press event, where international journalists had an opportunity to experience electric boating for themselves.
In addition to electromobility on water, Torqeedo’s technology is also helping to build the cities of the future. It is estimated that the world’s population will grow to 10 billion by 2050, with 75 percent of the world’s population living in cities. Considering this dynamic population growth and the resulting traffic congestion on land, urban planners are increasingly relying on waterways that cross many of the world’s major cities to reduce traffic on the roads and improve urban air quality.
Torqeedo focuses on segments where zero-emission and hybrid drives are already competitive today and uses its expertise to develop the products that will drive a climate-friendly future. Torqeedo estimates that electric boats currently account for approximately 1.3 percent of the global market. Compared to the proportion of electric cars in the total automotive market of about two percent, the boat industry is on the right track. Some boat segments have already turned the corner. On protected lakes, electric drives account for most of the market because the use of combustion engines is restricted or prohibited.
Electric drives are also competitive in segments where these restrictions do not exist. Larger yachts now usually have a hybrid drive, and many inflatable and sailing boats have already switched from internal combustion engines to electric drives. Ferries and motorboats, especially through urban areas, are now also electrically powered in order to avoid local emissions and thus reduce the overall CO2 balance.