Electric tender from Avon
Avon Marine has introduced a tender that is powered by an electric motor in what is thought to be a pioneering development for a small RIB.
Avon was a pioneer in the development of inflatable boats and later in developing RIBs that are widely used in the commercial sector and whilst this first electric tender is designed primarily for use in the leisure sector the company plans to develop commercial versions that should have a wide range of applications for those operators requiring boats with zero emissions that can be used both as tenders or boarding boats on larger craft or as stand alone harbour craft for patrol and monitoring applications.
This pioneering electric tender, the eJET is 4.30 metres in length and features seating in the forward part with a helm seat and control console aft. The design is largely based on existing experience with yacht tenders but with the inboard engine replaced by an electric motor and batteries under the helm console. It is claimed that this will significantly reduce maintenance and increase reliability.
The electric package for this tender has been supplied by the experienced German company Torqeedo. The motor that is directly connected to the water jet is an 80hp unit and the batteries are a package of lithium ion units similar to the well tested package that is used on BMW i3 hybrid electric cars. These batteries have a capacity of 32 kWhours and Avon claims that this power package will provide a top speed of 26 knots and the eJET will have a duration of 90 minutes on one charge during normal use.
Alongside the development of this electric tender Avon has introduced their Concept which allows the on-board systems to be monitored and even upgraded via the Internet. This Zodiac Connected Boat device will also let users track their location in real time, save their journeys and turn on lights remotely as well as monitoring the battery system and charge.
The eJET is based on a new hull design that the company claims has been specially developed to give economical performance. The eJET will be available during 2018 and the commercial versions of the eJET which will be developed in cooperation with Torqeedo will be available in 2019.
“Throughout the 120 years of history Avon has been at the forefront of inflatable development”, said Dominique Heber-Suffrin, the President of the Zodiac Nautic group. “We are always looking for what will come next in the boating industry and seek the best partners to make that happen. For our eJET concept Torqeedo was the logical choice.”
By Dag Pike
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