GBF Winter 2022 Newsletter

ELECTRIC-POWERED BOATS REDUCE POLLUTION EMISSIONS, BUT THEY ALSO MAKE BOATING MORE ENJOYABLE. By Heather Sargeant, GBF Communications Director with contributions from GBF Executive Director David Sweetnam, boat enthusiasts and volunteers Greg Mezo and Kerry and AJ Mueller, donor and Point Pleasant Marina owner Drew Lichtenheldt, Gabe Johnson from Pure WatercraftII , and the Georgian Bay Biosphere. Boating could be so much less painful — the pain starts with noise from the internal combustion engine (ICE) chugging and revving and breaking the serenity of listening to nature around you or making it impossible to hear your friends; there’s the fumes and unfiltered exhaust pollution emissions from gas and oil during boat rides and fill ups; and then there is the maintenance and winterizing of ICEs which can involve taking hoods off, draining oil, installing new oil filters, filling the crankcase, changing gear oil, stabilizing fuel, flushing with antifreeze, fogging cylinders, greasing tubes, spraying various things against corrosion, and more. Ugh. Now — imagine a boating experience with an electric motor where all that goes away. A quiet emission-free ride where you can truly enjoy a boat ride on Georgian Bay without poisoning it, and where you can go from zero to full throttle instantaneously. Boating made simply more enjoyable. That’s the promise of electric boat motors. For example, a 20HP 2-stroke outboard engine that operates for 1 hour makes 11,000 m3 of water undrinkable. And a 5 HP 4-stroke latest technology outboard produces 38 times more hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxides emissions than a small car I. But there are stumbling blocks like upfront costs and availability, and concerns over range and consecutive hours of stored energy. We’re going to shine some light over those concerns. Cost Certainly today, the purchase price of electric boat motors is more expensive than dirty ICE motors, and there are fewer choices and limited availability. But, if you have the means or can start saving towards this goal, please do so as we know first-adopters pave the way for mass adoption. Let’s look towards the example of the Muellers. Not only do they have an electric car and an electric motor for their small outboard (Torqeedo)II — but they also recently ordered an electric motor from Pure WatercraftII for a pontoon boat. The difference in price was substantial — about 25k USD with 2 battery packs for a 50 Hp verses about 13k CDN for a 90 Hp ICE outboard. There are some offsets through reduced operation costs like less maintenance due to the few parts in an electric motor verses an ICE motor, and certainly the cost of filling up at $1.60 to $2.00 a litre (as some reported this summer) versus electricity which would cost much less (maybe about a 5th depending on where you are). But the current sticker price is certainly more expensive, and a government incentive to close the price gap should be encouraged to quicken adoption to improve efficiencies of scale so environmental pollution can be stopped at source (the motor). And currently, ICE and petroleummanufacturers and sellers are not cleaning up the emission pollution or being made to account for its impacts. “My husband and I switched our cars to EV's years ago and love driving them. No looking back. So, we decided to switch our boating fun to electric too for similar benefits: the quiet ride, no unhealthy fumes to breath in or air pollution created adding to climate change, a motor with virtually no service requirements — plus in the case for boats, minimal winter preparation, the convenience and lower cost of charging at home.” —Kerry and AJ Mueller Owners of an TorqeedoII electric powered outboard fishing boat and Pontoon boat powered by a Pure WatercraftII electric motor on order. What about battery charging and range anxiety? What really matters in terms of reasonably being able to use an electric motor — is predicated on how you boat. Many electric boat motors are marketed towards drives of 5 hp to 50 hp, and generally towards outboards as they are a large portion of the "total drives" in the market. Within this range, the battery size/weight/charging required is very doable according to Gabe Johnson, Head of Marketing at Pure WatercraftII. It would seem a lot of boat drives around Georgian Bay could be powered by electric motors in use on Electric motor example. Photo courtesy of Pure WatercraftII small craft outboards, pontoon boats, fishing boats, and rigid inflatable boats. Consider the following: Many families who use their boats every weekend during the summer months fail to hit 100 hours of running time, which is the typical manufacturer recommendations for maintenance on an ICE. This may indicate a lot of short distance usages. Additionally, many trips aren’t consistently high-speed trips. These ‘how you boat’ points were certainly part of Georgian Bay Forever’s viability calculations when we purchased the electric TorqeedoII 10.0 TS (20 HP ICE equivalent) outboard motor for our small 16' utility boat that you will see saving our Georgian Bay wetlands in summer 2022. Pontoon boat with an electric motor. Photo courtesy of Pure WatercraftI I. CONTINUE READING 6 | WINTER 2022 | GBF.ORG