Electric boats are making waves in the water industry in Metro Detroit

VILLAGE OF ORCHARD LAKE, Mich. – We associate boating with a day off, but on Thursday (June 9), our economics editor found a way to make it his job.

Turns out there’s some serious marine research going on on a local lake involving battery-powered boats.

What could be more inviting than a day on the lake?

As fast as things change on the road with electric car and trucks, they change on the lake just as fast.

The answer to the first question is yes, and a battery boat has equivalent power.

Local 4 zipped around Lake Orchard on an electric tri-toon with the same power as a 250 horsepower motorized motor.

Hercules e-mobility engineer Jim Breyer put his “Bolt-boat” through a shakedown cruise.

“You have the power and torque available to pull a skier or tuber like you would in a normal gas powered boat, but you do it much more efficiently,” Breyer said.

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The answer to your next question is also yes, because electric boats are around 20% more expensive.

Based in Farmington Hills Hercules originally pitched the idea of ​​an electric pickup truck, but armed with a patent for a malleable battery platform.

Their research led them to bail out the trucks entirely and jump into the water, where there is little competition.

“The efficiency of a gas-powered speedboat on a boat and the amount of pollution it emits is 25 times that of a car, so we really want to have a bigger impact,” Breyer said. .

Julie Tolley is not a boater, but she said she saw a huge opportunity.

“Boaters generally care about the environment and want a clean, quiet experience while on the water,” Tolley said.

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A unique selling point is how the battery is hidden under the rear deck and seat.

“The play space on a boat is the back of the boat,” Bryer said. “That’s where everybody, where you tow your boat from and where your skiers are coming from, that’s where the party is when you’re at the sandbar, and we open up that deck space. ”

And as fast as that Bolt boat was, their journey from trucks to boats was faster.

Four months ago they started working on that, and now they already have a major multi-million dollar boat builder looking to go electric, and Hercules seems to have a very bright future on the water.

The earliest anyone can buy an electric boat is 2023, according to the company.

The company says consumers can buy a conversion kit for an internal combustion kit, get the battery, and put it in their boat, which will also be available next year.

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Earnest A. Martinez