Plug-in hybrid-electric drive ... for your boat!
News / From E motion / Miami 2008 Print version
Miami 2008: E motion advances current projects, launches new ventures
March 12, 2008
E motion hybrids spent Miami Strictly Sail 2008 conferring with builders, suppliers and customers on existing projects and launching new ventures to move our technology forward.

A highlight of the Feb 14-18 show was a pair of seminars that CEO Dave Tether conducted on plug-in, hybrid-electric drive. As always, he emphasized the importance of designing the entire system from scratch around optimally sized and pitched, low-rpm propellers. "That's why I use the term 'holistic hybrid'," Tether says. "You can't just cobble together existing industrial technologies and stick them in a boat."

New developments
New developments at the show included a decision by Lagoon Catamarans to incorporate the E Plex touch-screen control system from Sensata Technologies' Airpax subsidiary in the new Lagoon 500 powered by E motion hybrid drive.

"It's going to be their 'new millennium boat'," Tether says. "Lagoon is going all out on this one." Expected to launch this April, the 50-foot hybrid-electric luxury cat will be driven by twin 16 kw E motion motors powered by Nilar NiMH batteries.
Happy crew greeted customers drawn to the booth by working model of 4.5 kw motor. (L-R) Richard Howellet - Nilar, Dave Otto - 60' E motion cat owner, Dick Dean - Airpax, Dave Tether - EMP.
Also looking carefully at NiMH batteries at the show was Dave Otto, owner of another E motion luxury catamaran, the Young Yacht Design 60-footer now under construction in New Zealand."He's considering NiMH and the Odyssey thin-plate batteries," Tether says. "Whichever one he picks, he wants it to be the latest technology."

The Young custom design will be driven by twin 16 kw motors turning Autostream feathering props, with backup power from two 15 kw DC generators, one in each hull.

Left: E motion booth beckons in morning light before show opens. It featured displays by Miller Special Yachts, Odyssey and Nilar batteries, Sensata/Airpax inverters, Victron DC-DC converters and batteries.
Batteries were big
Batteries were a big topic of discussion in our Miami booth, with exhibits by Discover Energy, Odyssey and Victron Energy - all AGM suppliers - and NiMH manufacturer Nilar. We also established a distribution partnership during the show with a major southeastern supplier, Royal Batteries/Safe Start, to give our customers a wider selection at lower prices.

Additional new ventures discussed at the show, but not yet finalized, include:
  • Installation of the E motion system in a large, ultra-lightweight racing catamaran - "imagine a million dollar Hobie cat," Dave says. The 45-foot, pre-preg carbon speedster weighs just 10,500 lbs in racing mode and will probably need only our smallest 4.5 kw motors to drive her.
  • Installation of the E motion system in a 42-foot monohull now being built in Europe as a test vessel for a sailing hardware manufacturer.
  • Development of a higher-rpm E motion motor for a saildrive system. Saildrive takes a smaller propeller with less thrust than the large props typically turned by our system. An increase from our current 1,000 rpm limit to 1,600 rpm would compensate for the smaller prop.
More details will be forthcoming on these last three if and when they materialize.

Spec sheets created for the show allow battery comparisons on
multiple characteristics. (L) AGM (R) NiMH. Click for printable PDFs.
For info on parallel NiMH battery building blocks,
see Lagoon-NiMH story .

Electric Marine Propulsion
Ft. Myers Beach, FL
phone 239.463.1824 fax 239.463.1485