General Fishing Discussion

Why aren't we seeing much development in electric outboard motors?

11/20/22 @ 11:40 AM
The Muskie Kid
PRO MEMBER User since 12/11/02

Don't kill the messenger! And don't get me wrong, I'm old-school! I love gas-operated, combustion outboard motors, I always have! I even collect and rebuild some of the old ones!  But I can't help but ask how we're seeing an explosion in electric, battery-powered tools everywhere, except for internal combustion-powered outboard motors!  The reasons are many.  The elephant in the room, of course, is manufacturers of internal combustion engines, who can't be happy campers!  But it seems inevitable given the environmental, conservation, and eventual long-term economic savings from free solar-powered energy versus the economic and environmental cost of fossil burning, polluting the air, water, and any number of species, above and below, including 'US', by burning gasoline and oil.  The use of portable, rechargeable, battery-powered tools, charging time, thrust, and life, are constantly getting better, faster, stronger, longer, and cheaper!   So why no R&D or talk about the gasoline-powered outboard motor industry?  OK, there are a few electric outboards out there, but little has changed with them, and I can't find much at all in new developments in the existing gas-powered manufacturers either!  Both technologies are very expensive, but the big difference is, solar-powered battery technology for the outboard use market is in its infancy.  (Not even the leading electric trolling motor companies are doing much, if anything in developing outboard electric-powered motors, or they're just not saying!?)  Can't boat Mfg develop materials to cover the exposed surfaces of a boat with durable material to collect solar energy even on cloudy days to keep batteries, onboard back-ups, and lightweight portable power-packs easily available and charged like your power drill, lawnmower, and leaf-blower? All of these can be recharged by plugging into any A/C power source now, a power hookup on your pier, or even an outside-use, GFI extension cord.  No one likes to see the end of a technology that has served so well!  It's that change you hate to love/hate and embrace, but it's the price we pay for progress, or so I've been told!  BTW, has anyone else ever wondered if you could rig your battery-powered, electric leaf-blower with gears, a shaft, and a propeller?  I have no doubt they are working on it now.  I just wanted to see what fellow sports-people thought.  What do you think? 


Displaying 1 to 15 of 31 posts
8/2/23 @ 12:08 PM
User since 10/3/12
Vision Marine is a publicly traded company since 2020 focused on electric boat propulsion, currently have a 180hp motor.

Tom Brady as well is using his play money to put together a team for racing electric  boats. 

Progress is being made.
6/4/23 @ 8:19 PM
User since 3/15/08
Price is an issue???  How many of you already have a $2000+ minnkota with $1000+ in batteries to run it,  people will pay anything these days.  Just increase the monthly payment, the new American way.  Technology will eventually get there.
5/31/23 @ 3:40 PM
User since 6/1/09
5/30/23 @ 11:28 AM
User since 8/3/12
As many others have mentioned, the technology isn't there, yet, to compete with gas motors in weight, price, or range. Will we get there someday? Maybe. 

As far as it being more "environmentally friendly" HA! Just because you don't see the smoke coming off of it doesn't mean its polluting any less. Ever seen a lithium mine? What do you think digs up the materials that are used to make batteries? Diesel powered everything. Then it has to be manufactured, using electricity made from burning coal, and oil based coolants and lubrication throughout the manufacturing process. Electric vehicles pollute just as much as gas, they just pollute Africa and China where the mines and manufacturing takes place so all the uppity yuppies in Madison that don't realize things dont grow on trees can feel better about themselves because they don't see it. 

Windmills, for example, use more energy in the manufacturing process than they produce in their lifetime, but because the blue hairs don't see them being made, they think they are environmentally friendly. Source: I've built them.
5/12/23 @ 2:02 PM
User since 1/16/11
I don't don't believe electric outboards will ever amount to more than a novelty or unit that can be used on small bodies of water.
Comparing available energy
one gallon of gas can produce 33.7 KWH of energy per the EPA
A fully charged Optima AGM rated at 66 AH can produce 7.32 KWH of energy
A good day in Canada I can burn 10 gallons of gas. The equivalent travel would require 46 Optima batteries provided they can discharge to 100% 

5/12/23 @ 11:49 AM
PRO MEMBER User since 2/16/04
Off topic some, but saw a battery powered electric dragster clean up racing regular ones on TV the other night. It seemed to have unlimited power for the few seconds it ran.
3/21/23 @ 12:13 PM
Fin Bender
Fin Bender
User since 9/16/11
45 Minutes. That's how long Mercury's newest 2023 electric motor (7.5e Avator) can run before running out of juice. Yikes.

That means if you get 22.6 minutes out from the landing you ain't getting home. MAYDAY.
3/21/23 @ 7:45 AM
BâssÂddîçt ©¸
BâssÂddîçt ©¸
PRO MEMBER User since 6/15/01
50 horse electric motor

Once you add the six batteries at 100 lb each you now are up to over 600 lb
Trim and tilt
Charging system charging cables
Throttle controls
Comes to just a little over ,$24,000

3/18/23 @ 6:46 PM
PRO MEMBER User since 2/16/04
Hooking up a battery drill to an ice auger blade used to be thought of as eccentric. Change is always harder for some people than others. Technology marches on. Batteries have been improving and lithium is a game changer for sure. I'm with H. Donk on this one. Muskie Kid must have meant hooking up a electric grass trimmer with a propeller attached which is funny.
3/18/23 @ 3:48 PM
honky donk
honky donk
User since 6/3/09
E motors are the next big thing.
Grossly over priced right now,but the power is unreal
.300 hp motor actually 450hp..wow..I can't wait..Donk!
1/17/23 @ 7:22 AM
Kayaker 8
User since 8/28/20


I will have to check that out.  Yep, that kind of project is for the eccentric, hobbyist or electric techno geeks. 

1/16/23 @ 7:47 PM
User since 6/24/01

Kayaker 8,

On a couple recent episodes of “Below Zero” tv show, Andy build a solar powered boat. First he built three lightweight pontoons, a deck, and then a structural support to hold solar panels. They were testing it on the water last week episode.  He lives off the grid in Alaska, so it is part of a lifestyle. I don’t see viable, everyday use on boats in my lifetime. 

1/16/23 @ 12:32 PM
User since 7/5/01

Every boat on the water would become a wake boat with the weight of the battery needed to provide any comparable range to the current gas powered options.  There would have to be some massive technical advancements to make battery powered boats feasible compared to gas powered.  Take your battery powered boat on a fishing trip pulled by your battery powered truck and you'll spend a week tethered to an electrical outlet.  

1/15/23 @ 8:39 AM
Kayaker 8
User since 8/28/20


There are some solar hobbiest that build their own panels from individual cells.  Also you can find flexible and foldable solar panels that can be put together in series and or series parallel for our required wattage needs. Home Depot sells flexible panels as does Mr. Solar, Arizona wind and sun.

Here is build our own panels link:


Not an endeavor or everyone. But could make a fun project especially for those on smaller lakes, slower rivers that have the time to let the boat be outside to soak up some sun.  Would not try cross lake Michigan tho!

1/14/23 @ 9:16 AM
User since 6/1/09

Lund has a NEW 13 ft.aluminum designed for the New Mercury Electric! I will be  amazed if the sell any of these for$12000.They say it will also handle a 4stroke 5 hp. I had a 12ft. Pramthat had twice as much room as this thing! Electrics are quiet, but so are OARS, and you are going to need them when you run out of juice!

Displaying 1 to 15 of 31 posts

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