The polar expedition cruise industry’s desire for zero emission passenger tender RIBs has driven the development of what is set to be the first electric outboard motor with usable horsepower.

Evoy’s outboard system development is being supported financially with NOK 1.8M from Innovation Norway

Evoy’s outboard system development is being supported financially with NOK 1.8M from Innovation Norway

Norwegian startup Evoy has developed what is claimed to be the most powerful electric outboard with an output equivalent to a 150hp gasoline engine.

Since the summer of 2019, the prototype Evoy1 – a Polarcirkel 860 – has been used for extensive testing and optimization of the system, and has now stepped up to serial production. Last summer Evoy1 was baptized by Norway’s Prime Minister, Erna Solberg and, with just 90hp set an unofficial electric outboard driven boat world record of 55 knots.

Evoy’s vision is to eliminate emissions from boats. Evoy is based in Florø, Norway, and their systems of up to 800hp are designed and tested to operate in the toughest environments in the world – the Norwegian coast.

Evoy’s outboard system development is being supported financially with NOK 1.8M from Innovation Norway. The goal was to have it completed and ready for the market in first quarter of 2021.

The development of the motor has been driven by demand from the Polar Cruise segment, although it is envisaged that it will be of great interest to other commercial marine operators.

Hurtigruten were early to announce their interest and wanted to have 30 systems delivered in the spring of 2020. “We like challenges, but this inquiry was a little tight, even for us”, said an excited CEO and Founder Leif A.Stavøstrand.

The Prototype Outboard was to be released at the Sjøen for Alle Boat Show in Lillestrøm, Norway March 18-22. Due to the cancellation of this event, the World Premiere has been shunted on to Florø later this season.

It is thought that the prototype will develop around 150hp but testing that will be performed during summer and autumn of 2020 will give the final results on performance and range.

Karin Strand, Vice President Expedition at Hurtigruten, the expedition cruise company that has been a big driver in the development of the motor said: “Hurtigruten’s goal is to operate 100% emission free. We will lead the way towards a more sustainable tourist industry, and nothing will be more natural than to use electric propulsion, also with our smaller boats. The technology has not been ready, but we believe we can solve this together with Evoy and Frydenbø. We look forward to getting started and to experience how this works towards our usage patterns, the artic temperatures and of course our customers.”

The outboard motor is especially designed to fit the Zodiac Milpro MARK 5, and for this boat it will be slightly detuned to 115hp. This boat is the industry standard for the Exploration Cruises in Artic regions. The boat is produced by Frydenbø Milpro.

Frydenbø Milpro is part of Frydenbø Marine, owned by the Frydenbø Group, a family owned company based in Bergen, Norway with 550 employees and a turnover of 2,9 billion in 2018. Frydenbø Marine distributes the brands Evinrude, Sting and Zodiac to a well-developed dealer network in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark, so will be well placed to distribute these new Evoy motors.

By Jake Frith