Why should Superyacht Tenders be electric

Once merely considered as an auxiliary dinghy used for transportation, provisioning, and crew chores, the tender has evolved into being a key element of the superyacht life, be it as the first representation of a mothership, as a sports vessel, as a beach lander,  or as a cruiser around small bays. With sustainability on the top of the yachting industry’s agenda, the move towards electric-propulsion tenders has accelerated, and the e-tender market experiences significant growth. In this article, we discuss ten insights provided by superyacht captains advising owners on the choice of a new tender. Some are certain that e-tenders are the obvious choice. Others require additional proof of the e-tender potential.

Performance 

“Yacht tenders need speed, comfort and dryness over relatively short ranges and are, therefore, well-suited to being fitted with powerful automotive-based electric propulsion systems in a modern planing hull form.

→ “They will prove to be a popular option for owners and guests when they reach the speed and range conventional tenders currently reach. Most owners would like a quiet tender but this consideration seems to come after speed and range.”

The most common uses of tenders in the size range of 9-11 meters include supply runs, owners and guests transfers from/to a marina, a beach or a neighbouring yacht. In such cases, tender rides are usually short and over small distances, meaning that they do not usually require speed or high range.

When it comes to watersport activities and day cruising purposes, tenders need nonetheless to fulfil certain requirements. In a previous article “A boat comparison”, we explain that, contrary to a petrol-powered vessel, an all-electric boat has greater traction and acceleration capacities due to the fact that an electrical engine provides instant torque even at low speed. Thanks to its twin engines, the Lanéva tender reaches a top speed of 28-30 knots and has a range of 40-45 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 15 knots.

In terms of manoeuvrability, a bow thruster is a key feature to a tender (even for the small-sized ones) in order to add greater control over the boat, especially when it rides alongside the mothership. Again, a Lanéva tender ticks the boxes as it is equipped with both bow and stern thrusters.

After all, when comparing the range of non-electric tenders falling in the same size category, we see that an electric tender, such as Lanéva, quite easily complies with the needs of its user.

Comfort

→ “E-tenders provide hugely enjoyable transport between yacht and shore. Without the fumes of fuel or exhaust, they allow the occupants to hold conversations at normal speaking levels, even at 30 knots.

→ “I particularly believe the ‘silent running’ of such tenders will be a big attraction to owners.”

Those who have tried an electric boat will unanimously agree on the fact that electric propulsion offers an incomparable experience on-board: no fumes, no odours at the ignition of the motor, no vibrations, no noise -even during accelerations- but the chance to continue witnessing the beauty of nature at its best by moving around silently in a green manner, without compromising on comfort. After all, responsible boating doesn’t solely benefit the environment; it does enhance the experience of boaters who can enjoy the quietness of the vessel even if sitting next to the engine. 

Access to restricted areas

“If you own a small tender in many parts of Europe and the US, you face a growing ban on thermal engines.”

The negative impact that non-electric vessels have on aquatic environments by a variety of mechanisms is significant. This includes emissions and exhaust, propeller contact, turbulence from the propulsion system, waves produced by movement, noise, and movement itself. Sediment resuspension, water pollution, disturbance of fish and wildlife, destruction of aquatic plants, and shoreline erosion are just some of the major areas of concern.

An electric boat minimises and even removes a majority of these concerns. 

Furthermore, and as pointed out in our previous article “A boat Comparison – electrical engine vs internal combustion engine”, a growing number of destinations, among which the most popular ones for superyachts, do not allow ICE boats to anchor near them and are becoming electric-only bodies of water. For instance, a diesel ban is planned in Spain’s Balearic Islands as of 2025. It is thus reasonable to expect that access to certain coastal and protected areas will be limited or prohibited in the future; not only in Europe (which is paving the way for the phase-out of fossil fuel vehicles) but overseas as well. In other words, there may be priority access for 100% electric vessels to some of the world’s most well kept secrets and beautiful spots, otherwise forbidden by other nuisance-driven vessels.  

Sustainability

→ “There is no point buying a hybrid yacht and then having a diesel or gasoline tender on board.”

E-tenders are the response to an increasing sensitivity towards eco-sustainability, especially from the new generation of future superyacht owners who make low carbon footprint (and low emissions) a priority and who look into an eco-friendlier approach to yachting. 

Moreover, initiatives such as the Yacht Environmental Transparency Index (YETI) and the Water Revolution Foundation confirm the strong commitment towards environmental innovation in the yachting world.

Although we note that the superyacht industry has made progress in the last five years to become a global eco-player, today, battery technology does not allow for superyachts to become 100% electric. However, steering towards alternative propulsion with a 100% electric tender is an easy step for captains and owners to begin their quest for an all-round green and responsible solution.

Having gone through stringent assessments performed by external independent experts and based on verified standards, Lanéva Boats is considered one of the most advanced sustainable dayboats on the market, having received the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” label. This positions Lanéva Boats as an eco-responsible choice for its users.

Such an award is greeted with great respect from those seeking an eco-friendly solution for the future as it is one of the first labels for positive impact businesses bringing together protection of nature and financial viability.

Design & custom-made

→ “In recent years, owners have begun to pay more attention to the design of tenders, seeing them as not just a method to travel between A and B, but also part of the whole journey.”

→ “Modern superyacht tenders and toys – even those from production builders – can offer a bewildering array of customisation, from colour schemes and upholstery to the latest in gadgets and electronics.”

By definition, a tender is the annex, the extension of a superyacht; it’s the first element guests get to see and interact with before boarding the mothership. Tenders are, in other words, an introduction to the type of journey guests will expect to have on the yacht. 

For this reason, tenders should match the level of attention to detail and luxury of that of the flagship. This is why Lanéva Boats made it a point to not compromise on all aspects of the design in order to offer the ultimate experience of e-boating. 

Hence, Lanéva boats are the epitome of all electric, custom-made luxurious small vessels and tenders. With such values as sustainability, craftsmanship, respect for nautical traditions and construction techniques at the core of the brand concept, Lanéva incessantly searches for top-notch skills and savoir-faire to equip its boats with exceptional materials and finishes.  

Aiming at such a level of excellence, Lanéva can adapt and personalise its boats to the needs of its clients, also offering all the necessary and efficient technology to ensure a safe and comfortable journey on the water. Not to mention the highest level of in-service support and aftersales care that comes with a custom-made tender.

Multi-use

→ “In recent years, owners have begun to pay more attention to the design of tenders, seeing them as not just a method to travel between A and B, but also part of the whole journey.”

“Primarily, they are utility vessels but they do have the propensity to evolve into owners’ tenders because they are so comfortable; they become the high-end Range Rovers of the sea.”

Given that today’s technologically advanced tenders have come a long way since the very beginnings of their use in the superyacht world, they no longer merely serve a purpose of transporting guests to beaches and jetties. In fact, some studies show that tenders are primarily used for leisure time (by guests – 26.5%) and for watersports (20.6%), whereas transfers represent only 5.9% of their usage.

Tenders have transformed themselves into far more than just being a shuttle for ports and marinas; they address the matter of flexibility that is desired and sought-after by today’s discerning clientele. Hence, tenders have become leisure day boats, allowing boaters to pursue recreational activities. 

Lanéva’s electric tenders are no exception; they present such versatile features and transforming capabilities that owners, guests and crew alike can use them in a larger number of ways than one could imagine.

Reliability of electric propulsion

“Reliability in a yacht tender is paramount; it can be the coolest, most advanced boat on the water but if it doesn’t work at that critical moment when your guests want to get ashore it is next to useless.”

→ “Electric power rapidly translates into fast acceleration, superior controllability and stress-free arrival and departure.” 

With some feedback from the car industry, several reviews confirm that electric engines are more reliable than fossil-fuel engines. This is due to two main reasons: first, there are far less moving parts in an electric engine, meaning that logically there are lesser chances of faults to occur. Second, and as we’ll explain later on, electric batteries have a longer life cycle.

Regarding propulsion, Lanéva uses an axial flux motor technology with unrivalled power density and a plug & play easy connection. The boats are equipped with a smart navigation interface which indicates in real time the level of batteries’ consumption for each engine, both on the cockpit dashboard or on the owner’s phone. At all times, one can know exactly how much energy is available for a busy day at sea. In addition, Lanéva boats’ engines can work separately in case of a breakdown to ensure redundancy of the system. There’s even more to it: upon demand, Lanéva’s service team can access the system, even when the client is at sea, to make a remote diagnostic and/or repair. 

Battery life cycle & durability

“Currently, the battery life and achievable speed is a big limiting factor.” 

After value for money, ease of maintenance and durability come as equally important to the eyes of a tender’s owner. Two characteristics that can be found in the use of electric-powered tenders which happen to be cheaper and easier to maintain. 

Contrary to common perception, the batteries in electric vehicles don’t degrade over time. Tesla made some tests on its batteries, which reveal that “batteries lose about 1% of capacity every 30,000km (18,750 miles).”  One may argue that those results are specific to Tesla’s batteries. Yet, this serves to prove the scalability of the overall battery technology and the constant evolution of their performance. 

As hinted at earlier, e-tenders’ batteries have a long lifecycle. For instance, Lanéva uses Lithium Polymer Batteries based on the Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) chemistry, and the cells are those used for military applications. It is worth mentioning that “NMC is the most successful Li-ion system and suitable for EV powertrains. These batteries are currently in high demand given the high specific energy and excellent thermal characteristics. (…) NMC has been used by many EV manufacturers, including Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt and BMW i3.

Lanéva’s batteries have a life of about 2000 cycles each, which is equivalent to about 10 years of usage. So, if we take into consideration that the frequency of external servicing for fuel-powered tenders reaches 58.9% in between 6 to 18 months, and that the average frequency of replacing operational tenders on board is about 2 to 5 years, we can affirm that an electric tender, such as a Lanéva boat, appears to be a safer and cost-efficient investment in the long-run, provided that the right level of overall maintenance of the tender (i.e. inside-out cleaning after use in water, anti-corrosion treatments, etc.) is done. 

MORE BENEFITS 

Safety & simplicity in charging on-board

One of the most apparent benefits of an electric tender is the possibility to charge it in the garage of its superyacht by using free energy and resources provided for directly from the yacht.

The generator on board charges the tender, meaning there’s no need to store toxic and highly flammable substances in the tender garage such as petrol or diesel, as required with traditional tenders.

Additionally, the generator won’t be wasting its power when continuously on, as it can be used to charge the superyacht tenders’ batteries. This in turn implies efficiency in terms of charging, as the constantly powered generator uses the energy that otherwise would have gone to waste.

Weight and lifting

→ “I believe that battery technology is still about 10 years away from being ready for this application. Hybrid might be an option but the most important aspect of this is that the battery weight, in addition to the weight of the tender, will make an upgrade of all the lifting arrangements necessary unless this is considered from the start on a new build.”

As efficient electric motors are very light, they largely compensate for the weight from the batteries.  For instance, a Lanéva boat’s electric motor weighs 42kg, when the batteries altogether weigh about 900 kg, for a lightweight of the boat reaching about 3,2 tonnes. The crane of most superyachts for a similar tender size is therefore already suitable for the Lanéva all-electric tender.

Another important point regarding weight and lifting is that the weight of an empty battery is the same as that of a full battery. This allows the crew not to worry about the difference in weight when handling the tender. 

Summary

To conclude, just as with any other vehicle or device, it is not just about making something better and providing charging infrastructure; it is about seeing a change of the business model in the yachting industry, something that electric tenders such as Lanéva Boats has strongly embraced.

Electric tenders satisfy the increased demand for quiet, clean and efficient alternatives to the traditionally powered superyacht tender. As a captain puts it: “the option of an electric tender provides a sustainable bolt-on to superyacht ownership and a dramatically different experience to the gas-guzzling tender.

Societal attitudes toward sustainability are moving forth quickly, and yacht users expect the best of both worlds: luxury, comfort and green credentials.

While port requirements for limited emissions are becoming more stringent as technologies advance with yachts becoming greener, the number of emission control areas (ECA) and environmental regulations are also increasing.So, what are you waiting to experience with Lanéva Boats? Just book the date of your choice for the 2021 season.

Lanéva 100% Electric – Dispelling electric boats myths

INTRO:

The concept of electric boats generates quite a lot of debate. In this article, we dispel 8 commonly heard myths, while offering a realistic perspective on the latest generation of electric boats in comparison to traditional motor boats. At the end of the article, you will also have the opportunity to drive one!

Electric boats have undoubtedly gained much popularity in the past years, whether they are equipped with hybrid or pure electric propulsion1. With growing concerns towards ocean preservation, the rise in pollution by gasoline-powered combustion boats and the need to reduce carbon footprint, sustainability and eco-consciousness have become the trends influencing the global yachting industry. As a matter of fact, the new generation of yacht owners look for eco-friendly vessels, and aim at having the lowest environmental impact possible, by also implementing sustainable management policies on board, from waste management to the use of fair trade or organic certified products. 

The segment of (recreational) electric tenders is still very niche, whereas utility electric boats have been around for a while. As for any niche and unfamiliar product, doubts and myths spread easily. Wasn’t it the case for electric vehicles (EVs) when they first launch? There was much scepticism around the concept. And yet, sales of EVs have reached 2.1 million globally in 2019, accounting for 2.6% of global car sales, and registered a 40% year-on-year increase2. Now Tesla leads the market and Formula E is part of worldwide racing championship calendars since 2014. 

Electric boats have already demonstrated to have several significant advantages compared to combustion boats. To name a few, they are silent, they don’t emit greenhouse gases or smoke, they cause less vibrations, require less engine maintenance and allow for substantial savings on fuel.

With a global market worth US$ 4.49 Bn in 2018, expecting to reach US$ 12.32 Bn by 20273, it’s time to get rid of all the recurrent myths about electric boats!

Myth #1: Marine electric propulsion is just another new trend

Reality #1: 

Hybrid and electric boats have existed for over 100 years. They were very popular from the 1880s until the 1920s, when gasoline-powered outboard motors were adopted as the norm. The first electric boat was developed by the German inventor Moritz von Jacobi in 1838 and was presented to the Emperor Nicholas I of Russia on the Neva River. The 24-foot (7.3 m) boat had a passenger capacity of 14 and a speed of 3 miles per hour (4.8 km/h). 

Myth #2: Navigating on an electric dayboat means less autonomy and freedom

Reality #2: 

The new generation of electric boats –just like Lanéva’s– are equipped with the latest technology and systems, such as real time autonomy indicators for each engine, leaving no room for bad surprises. In other words, you can know at any given time the level of battery’s consumption and plan your journey accordingly.

As the name implies, dayboats are used for single day trips, namely, for less than 24 hours. Such small yachts are thus designed to offer an autonomy that meets this type of usage. For example, a Lanéva boat offers sufficient autonomy to allow you to sail from Monaco to Cannes (back and forth) on a single charge. 

In addition, more and more harbours are being equipped with charging stations (or superchargers), making it ideal and safe to sail. This said, it is worth mentioning that a normal electric plug (available in most ports and in all ports in the Mediterranean), are sufficient to recharge an e-boat. 

Myth #3: Electric boats run with less power and energy than ICE boats

Reality #3: 

This statement is partially true. Although many advancements in battery technology allow for longer run-time and higher speed, the energy density of today’s batteries don’t compete quite yet with fossil fuels. 

However, if we make a parallel with the electric car industry –which feeds the maritime one in terms of manufacturing, motor propulsion and battery engineering– some studies demonstrate that, in reality, electric motors show higher energy efficiency than fuel engines. 

As stated by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, “EVs convert over 77% of the electrical energy from the grid to power at the wheels. Conventional gasoline vehicles only convert about 12%–30% of the energy stored in gasoline to power at the wheels.4

An electric engine can instantly provide full torque and reach full power as there is no waste of energy due to mechanical losses, which is the case with combustion engines. 

In fact, and according to Lynch Motors and to some data claimed by London Innovations5, “the average internal combustion engine actually wastes significant amounts of energy through mechanical losses, particularly through gears and bearings, as well as through propeller losses. A 7hp internal combustion engine may drive the boat at 5mph, but possibly 20hp will be needed to get it up to 6mph. An electric engine achieves much greater efficiencies and at 5mph a 1.6kW engine (ie 2.1hp) could be adequate for a job for which a much more powerful petrol or diesel engine would need to be used.”

By the way, did you know of such collaborations as BMW i with Torqeedo? Or of Renault with Seine Alliance

How can we not mention that the 60-feet racing yacht Malizia, helmed by famous German sailor Boris Herrmann, will be optimised with BMW i battery technology for the world’s toughest non-stop solo race, the Vendée Globe 2020!

On a side note, Torqeedo also offers a comparative study on outboard motor performances, using propulsive power as a meaningful performance indicator. The study shows that “electric motors can achieve the same propulsive power as combustion engines with significantly lower shaft power”. 

Myth #4: Electric boats are slow 

Reality #4:

Perhaps we are inclined to associate electric boats with those slow ferries, transportation or touristic boats that navigate on closed waters. Truth is, although they are still rare and more expensive, some electric motors are particularly powerful. 

Have you heard of the SAY 29E by SAY Carbon, powered by a 360 kW electric motor, that hit a record of 50 knots (93 km/h, 57.5 mph)? Or of the all-electric, Jaguar’s battery-powered Vector V20E boat breaking the maritime speed record of 88,62 mph (about 142 km/h)? Now of course, the latter is a racing boat, not a runabout. 

Comparatively, the 7.9-meter Lanéva boat can reach a top speed of 30 knots (55 km/h, 34,5 mph), as well as a range of approximately 40 nm at a speed of 20 knots (42,5 km/h, 23 mph). Those are high-performance characteristics, given the usage and purpose of a dayboat.

Myth #5: Electric boats mean inelegant and poor design

Reality #5:

It’s enough to look at Lanéva boats’ shapes and lines to conclude that this statement is not valid. Here again, we might be misled by some clichés: we hear electric, we imagine small dinghies, team park or fishing boats when, in actuality, niche brands, such as Lanéva, prove that you can own a Riva-style 100% e-boat.

Indeed, Lanéva dayboat showcase the perfect combination of sustainability, modern lines, noble materials and luxury finishes. And since the brand is highly rooted in craftsmanship, a Lanéva boat can be customised according to its future owner’s preferences. 

Moreover, what also makes Lanéva stand out is its approach in the conception and design of its boats. Unlike most yacht brands that work first on the design and then try to fit in a motor and battery, Lanéva proceeds the other way around considering first the kind of usage of the boat, then the type of battery (+ management system) and motor needed to support such usage, to finally work on the overall design and layout of the boat. 

Need to see more? BOAT magazine put up a list of best electric superyacht tenders featuring slick design, while not compromising on comfort. And guess what? Lanéva ranks first.

Myth #6: No need to have a licence to drive an electric boat 

Reality #6: 

The need for a licence has nothing to do with the type of motor boat you’re driving (fuel or electric). It rather depends on where you’re sailing (closed waters or open seas) and on the power of the engine. In France, for example, you need a boat licence if the motor power is above 4,5 kW (i.e. above 6 PH).

Myth #7: Electric boats are not fitted for water sports like wakeboard and water skiing 

Reality #7:

This is another myth. Electric boats turn out to be efficient recreational boats thanks to the immediate torque of the motor.

Let’s just have a look at Nautique, the world’s leading manufacturer of ski and wakeboarding boats. They’ve introduced their GS22-E at the Miami Boat Show –a 100% electric wakeboard boat, which battery allows for 2 to 3 hours of normal watersports use and can be recharged in as little as 90 minutes.

Lanéva boats are just as well equipped to allow for fun activities like water sports.

Myth #8: Electric boats take too long to charge

Reality #8

The complete charge of a Lanéva boat is about 3,5 hours with a 63A triphased socket. But as stated earlier (in myth #2), you only need to fully recharge your day sailer only once you’re back from your day trip. Actually, you can do so without having to spend the whole time at the port: in fact, Lanéva has developed a data management interface, which allows you to access all the boat’s data remotely. 

This said, just in case you would have to fully recharge the boat’s battery during the day, 3 hours mean plenty of time for lunching, strolling in a new area and having a swim somewhere.  

CONCLUSION

As promised, in this article we offered a realistic perspective on electric boats and addressed 8 commonly heard myths. Seeing is believing, however, so if you are truly interested in owning an electric boat, we invite you to book a test drive!

Have a chat with us

Sailing on a Lanéva boat is the easiest way to become familiar with the characteristics of the latest generation of electric boats and experience for yourself the difference to traditional motor boats.

 

FURTHER READING:

If you’re interested to dig deeper in the subject, you might as well want to check our two other articles:

If you need more information, feel free to contact us at innovators@laneva-boats.com

Our friendly staff will get back to you shortly !

 


 

 1 For instance, in 2018, the hybrid Electric Boat captured the largest market size of approximately 70% according to the “Global Electric Boat Market Size, Market Share, Application Analysis, Regional Outlook, Growth Trends, Key Players, Competitive Strategies and Forecasts, 2019 To 2027” 

 2 Global EV  Outlook 2020 (https://www.iea.org/reports/global-ev-outlook-2020)

 3 According to The “Global Electric Boat Market Size, Market Share, Application Analysis, Regional Outlook, Growth Trends, Key Players, Competitive Strategies and Forecasts, 2019 To 2027” 

4 https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/evtech.shtml

5 https://lynchmotors.co.uk/technical-reports/other_electric-motors/electric-experience.html

 

A boat comparison – Electrical engine vs internal combustion engine (ICE)

If you’ve landed on this page, chances are you’re asking yourself: “Is it the right time to switch to electric? Should my next boat have electrical propulsion?”. As builders of electric boats for pioneers, our answer at Lanéva is an emphatic “yes”. In this article, we list 8 key benefits of electrical engines that demonstrate why electrical propulsion is the smart choice for the present, and the inevitable choice for the future.

They are clean for the sea and for the air

This is the most well-known fact about electrical engines: they do not release unpleasant odours, exhaust fumes, harmful gases like CO2, nitrogen oxides or other small particles of very toxic elements. They actually emit little to none CO2 compared to fuel engines. The following numbers might just suffice to show you the shocking difference: a standard 8 meter-diesel dayboat, equipped with, let’s say, a Volvo Penta D3 220 motor, consuming about 213 litres of fuel for a 40 nautical-mile trip, will emit about 554 kg of CO2 per trip. This is about 88 times the level of emission of a Lanéva boat, which is about 6,30 kg of CO2 per trip in France

Another aspect of the eco-friendliness of electrical engines is that, unlike ICEs, they do not function with large quantities of oil which often needs to be replaced on a yearly basis. Not to mention that disposal of oil often creates another type of pollution. With an electric boat, you are sure to contribute to the water quality and protection of the marine ecosystem, by preventing the leak and formation of oil films on the water, either in port facilities or at sea.

Lastly, because electrical engines do not need fuel, they are definitely more clean for the environment. Fuel is polluting: some litres of leaked fuel are enough to poison the surface water of a whole port. This is one of the reasons why we believe that there will be more and more restrictions on the use of combustion engine boats on lakes (and water reserves) as well as in some marine cities, ports or sea areas. 

They are silent and generate low vibration

When boarding a vessel, we are subjected to different sources of noise: the engine, the wind and the water hitting the hull. Waves can have either a low or high frequency, which you can perceive either as a vibration (low frequency) or a sound (high frequency).

According to boats.com, “It isn’t unusual for inboard or stern drive boats to reach levels in the 90-105 dB range To give you an idea, 90 dB corresponds to the noise level of a subway, truck traffic or a lawn mower. This means you either need to speak very loud, even shout, or move closer to the person you want to talk to in order to be heard.

Like on a Tesla there is hardly any noise level on a Lanéva boat. This is mainly due to the absence of micro-explosions or of friction between metal parts, as it is the case with fuel engines. 

The only noise you will hear on a Lanéva Boat is that of the water breaking against the hull, just like on a sailing boat. Expect a much lesser noise level of about 45-50 dB, which is equivalent to the noise level of a quiet library or of a moderate rainfall. As a consequence, there is no need for complex exhaust systems or silencers to keep the noise at an acceptable level.

˝The only noise you will hear on a Lanéva Boat is that of the water breaking against the hull „

As for vibrations, they are reduced to a minimum: this is mainly due to the internal construction of the electric motor that operates through a magnetic field and allows the smooth and frictionless rotation of its components. 

At this point, the question you may want to ask yourself is: do I mind being at sea and hearing the same level of noise as if I were in the main streets of a big city or would I rather enjoy the sound of nature, peace and quietness?

Electric boats will get you to spots inaccessible to others

Because electric motors present emission-free, low vibration and silent characteristics, there are no driving bans for e-boats; whereas fuel boats are forbidden on many lakes, like in Germany and Austria. It is also said that by 2025, ICEs will be banned in Amsterdam. 

Venice is another significant case: last year, on August 19th, 2019, a new law was introduced to restrict boat traffic and air pollution on the city’s most crowded canals. Electric boats are, however, exempt from this law. Hence, VeniceAgenda2028 has launched a worldwide petition asking that all boat traffic on the city’s canals be electric by 2028”; an initiative actually supported by the Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco.

We’ve just mentioned European examples. But imagine yourself on a daytrip to an exotic, pristine area, to a secluded beach or even to a jewel island, preferably and soon-to-be accessible by 100% electric boats only. Think Lake Tahoe in Sierra Nevada, the Marchica Lagoon in Morocco, Palawan’s islands in the Philippines, or the famous dive destination Raja Ampat in Indonesia.

Bawah Reserve, Indonesia

In summary, switching to a climate-neutral and ecologically sustainable solution means that you leave nothing behind – i.e. your environmental impact on nature and animals is very low – while having the privilege to access idyllic and sought-after spots.

They generate motion, not heat 

By definition, an internal combustion engine is a heat engine, meaning that fuel is ignited in order to generate heat, which in turn produces mechanical energy and motion. The system involves high-pressured fuel, micro-explosions of a compressed mixture of fuel and air, and friction between metal parts (as a result, a substantial quantity of oil is needed to make those frictions less damaging). Yet, combustion engines only partially transform energy in motion. 

In an article from The Driven, explaining the difference between diesel and electrical car engines, John Cuprisin, Associate Professor Automotive Technology at Pennsylvania College of Technology, states that “petrol and diesel cars are very inefficient in converting the energy in their tanks into motion at the wheel (…) Over 60% of the energy is wasted as heat.

Instead, electrical engines create very little heat and almost all the input energy is transformed into motion. In fact, the process is reversed: an electric motor uses electrical energy to produce mechanical energy.

They have constant maximum torque 

Torque is not to be confused with power. Torque is referred to as the rotational force of an engine, whereas power is the capacity of a motor to generate torque. 

Several tests on car motors, like Skoda’s, have shown that electrical engines have maximum torque from minimal RPM (RPM being the measure of motor velocity), thus ensuring greatest traction at the start, but also higher acceleration.

On the contrary, internal combustion engines see their torque and power increase with RPM. This means that traditional fuel motors need additional systems such as a gearbox or inverter (which implies complexity, friction and, again, loss of efficiency) or even a turbocharger to make the torque curve flatter and more constant. 

Lanéva boats are equipped with high-efficient motors: 2 x 60 kW of power (equivalent to 2 x 90 HP), a velocity of 2500 RPM and a torque of 250 Nm.

Source: https://theconversation.com/heres-why-electric-cars-have-plenty-of-grunt-oomph-and-torque-115356

They improve a vessel’s manoeuvrability and sea performance

Because electrical engines provide instant torque at low speed, e-boats are easier to manoeuvre, especially in marinas. Their speeds are also more consistent in case of heavy seas and headwinds. In bad sea conditions, they go through waves more frankly and more forcefully at low or high speed. 

Electric-powered boats are known to be very stable as well. Since electric batteries are composed of different units, they are modular and therefore easier to place at the bottom of the hull, such that the weight distribution is evened out and the centre of gravity lowered. In other words, the disposition is thus more flexible in comparison to a thermic engine, which consists of one whole block. In addition, the batteries’ weight remains more or less the same, whether the batteries are fully charged or not, which means constant balance.

At Lanéva, our boats are no exception: as they are built around the battery and the motors, they feature a hydrodynamic design, a low centre of gravity and great stability. 

They are easy and cheap to maintain 

Combustion engines require regular checks (oil and liquid coolant levels) and major yearly maintenance (oil, filters, valve adjustments, heat exchanger check and cleaning, shaft, bearings, propeller, etc.) They operate with such a level of complexity that only highly trained people can maintain them, which results in high expenses. It also means that a lot of deficiencies and breakdowns can happen. The more parts, the higher the probability of a failure. 

In comparison, electrical engines are simpler and require only minimal maintenance. One of the main reasons is that they have fewer moving parts than ICE engines; and they do not include parts that wear or need replacing on a regular basis. 

As a matter of fact, if we refer to the car industry, several studies have shown that EVs’ maintenance costs are estimated to be 23% lower than ICE vehicles’, if not more. 

We’ve actually made some calculations, comparing a Lanéva boat total cost of ownership and operations with that of a similar diesel-powered motorboat. It appears that operational costs alone are on average 60 times higher for a thermal motor. If we add other costs related to engine maintenance and small repairs (such as antifouling, cleaning, etc.), an electric-powered boat remains 10 times less expensive.

Now, let’s consider the ownership cost of a boat, which includes the purchase price and the total annual operations cost. If an e-boat appears to be higher priced at the time of purchase, the initial investment is amortized as early as the third year and becomes less costly than a traditional combustion engine boat on the long-term.

They are simpler and smarter 

Combustion engines need all kinds of systems to operate, such as air filters, oil filters, fuel filters, heat exchangers, injectors, turbo-compressors, complex exhaust systems, and so forth. They are very complex and heavy. On the opposite, if you look at the engine room of an electrical vessel, it looks simple and neat. 

Electrical engines work with batteries, electricity and some electronics. Because electricity and electronics work nicely together, it is much simpler to build an integrated propulsion and vessel monitoring system. In fact, there has been a lot of progress in this regard. Nevertheless, as it is still something uncommon, it is fair to say that it comes at a cost.

At Lanéva, we have integrated a digital and smart monitoring system thanks to a purpose-built  Czone  interface. The system is based on the NMEA 2000 network with some parts in CAN or CAN-Open and its CAN to N2K processor. This allows for remote monitoring of the boat, either to control and manage any necessary maintenance operations, or to track in real time your boat and charging level from home. Fingertip control is available anywhere around the boat, through the dedicated CZone screens or through a tablet. It allows the set-up of all dashboard functions with safety and comfort controls, including authorized access to key data by Lanéva. The servicing of the boat is therefore easily managed by the technical team.  

Again, such smart navigation is possible due to the choice of an electric motor; something you won’t easily find in vessels equipped with combustion engines. 

Summary 

In this article we touched on 8 key benefits of electrical engines, More than opinions, these benefits are backed up by science, research and operational know-how and practice. This is why we believe electrical propulsion is the smart choice for the present, and the inevitable choice for the future. 

Let us deliver the proof to you in person. Book a test drive on our Lanéva Boat in a breath-taking location of your choice.

Further reading: we’ve touched on some other important benefits in our previous article “Dispelling electric boats myths” – you may want to have a read in case you’re still in doubt or need to clarify some points.

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