Mercury Marine took full advantage of packed halls at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to formally introduce no less than three new electric outboard motors while its parent company, Brunswick Corp., launched an all-new fishing boat brand.
The highlight was the official launch of Mercury's Avator 7.5e electric outboard, the full production version of a concept mockup that the company showed at last year's Miami boat show. Intended for use on small boats like punts, jon boats, inflatables, freighter canoes and kayaks, the Avator 7.5e outboard generates 750 watts of power at the propshaft, giving it similar speed and power to Mercury's 3.5 horsepower four-stroke gas outboard.
Power comes from an internally mounted, 48-volt, 1 kWh battery that's designed to be swappable on the fly. Lifting the top of the cowl reveals the battery compartment - just drop the battery in and close the lid. "We expect most people will have two batteries," said Mercury Marine president, Chris Drees. "It's plug and play, you just slip one out and pop the other one back in. Then one battery can charge while the other is in use. They're very easy to switch out, and are easy to manage in terms of size and weight."
Additional features include a quick-connect mounting system and a full color digital control panel on the front of the motor displays data like speed, battery level or remaining range. Once connected to Mercury's free app for iOS and Android devices, additional features like a GPS map and the ability to track speed, battery level, outboard hours and system notifications become available.
The Avator 7.5e will be offered in a choice of either tiller or remote steering variants, with deliveries to dealers starting in a couple of weeks.
Mercury said the Avator 7.5e is just the first model in a series of electric outboard products that will come to market this year, starting with larger Avator 20e and 35e models scheduled to be released in February. The company plans to introduce five electric outboards in 2023.
Brunswick also launches new Veer electric fishing boat brand
In addition to launching its new electric motor range, Mercury's parent company, Brunswick Corp., raised some eyebrows of its own with an all new fishing boat brand.
The new Veer boats were designed from the keel up with electric propulsion systems in mind, according to the company, and designed by the engineering team at sister company Lund Boats with some additional input from designers at Boston Whaler. The first model is a 13-foot skiff called the X13, which was shown with one of the Avator 7.5e outboards. Like the motors, larger models are expected to follow later in the year.
Probably the coolest aspect of the Veer boats is their incredible durability, being made from rotomolded polyethylene - a near indestructible material that simply bounces off rocks, stumps and beach sand. They're designed to be fishing boats, says the company, so they're said to be built to reflect the realities of a hard day on the water.
They're also designed to be affordable, with retail prices coming in under $12,000. Look for them in dealerships this spring.
About the author:
Over a near 40-year career as a full-time outdoor writer, Craig Ritchie has fished all over the globe for a variety of freshwater and saltwater species. The author of The Complete Guide To Getting Started In Fishing, he has written thousands of articles for magazines, websites and newspapers worldwide, appeared as a guest on several television fishing programs and won numerous awards for his writing and photography. He lives in the Great Lakes region where great fishing is as close as his own back yard.