Mercury Marine, a leading boat engine and technology manufacturer in the marine industry, is building the brand's first electric outboard motor that will soon hit the market. In January at CES 2023 in Las Vegas, Mercury had on display the company's all-new Avator™ 7.5e electric outboard, the first fully-electric outboard model from Mercury and the first in a new line of electric outboards to be officially unveiled in 2023. The more powerful Avator 20e and 35e outboard motors are currently in development, and prototypes have already been displayed at CES. The Avator 7.5e is slated to be available for purchase later this year for the general public.
Avator 7.5e Propulsion Design And Features
With 750W of power at the prop shaft, the Avator 7.5e outboard can achieve speeds and acceleration comparable to a Mercury 3.5hp FourStroke outboard, making it suitable for various small boats such as micro skiffs, jon boats, small aluminum fishing boats, rigid inflatables, kayaks, and canoes with the appropriate transom. Additionally, sailors and owners of large vessels can use the Avator system to power tender boats or store the outboard aboard a larger vessel, appreciating its fuel-free, low-maintenance design.
The Avator 7.5e outboard features a transverse flux motor, which is a proven technology that provides several advantages for boating. According to Andrew Przybyl, the Mercury engineer leading the Avator development team, transverse flux technology was chosen for its high torque density, allowing the motor to produce instant torque at low rpm. This enabled the design of a large-diameter three-blade prop that spins slower, resulting in improved efficiency and overall performance. The Avator 7.5e outboard provides faster 0-4 mph acceleration and higher efficiency than similar competitive outboards, making it an excellent option for electrification where efficiency is crucial.
The motor is designed to be used for freshwater applications, such as fishing and cruising, and offers quiet operation and low emissions. It is also easy to use, with a simple and intuitive control system. The motor is available in two different models, with power outputs of 5 and 8 horsepower (equivalent) respectively, and can be used with a variety of boat types and sizes. Some of the benefits of electric motors are their reduced operational sound (i.e. sound pollution), their overall environmental friendliness (i.e. virtually emission free) and the fact that they require less maintenance than traditional gasoline-powered engines.
Two Models: Tiller Or Remote
The Avator 7.5e electric outboard will be offered with tiller or remote controls. The tiller model is highly portable, thanks to a folding handle and quick-connect mounting system. Remote models come with one of three control options, designed to fit a range of small boat helms. All models will be powered by an interchangeable lithium-ion battery pack created in partnership with Mastervolt. The battery can be recharged overnight with the included charger, and additional high-speed chargers will be available. The range and runtime of the motor will depend on various factors, including boat size, load, speed, and water conditions. Boaters needing to stay out longer or go farther can bring an extra battery, which can be swapped in seconds.
Similar to other Mercury outboards, the Avator 7.5e integrates seamlessly into a complete propulsion system, with management and monitoring of the system done through the digital display. Mercury created a vivid, full-color display optimized for readability in all light conditions. Vital information, such as battery life, is prominently displayed for easy viewing, while other features can be accessed through the button controls. The display also has an internal GPS receiver that provides range estimates for confident exploring. On tiller models, the display is integrated onto the outboard, making it portable with no additional cables to connect. Remote models are paired with dash displays for easy visibility at the helm. The Avator outboard is the first to be compatible with a new Mercury Marine app available for iOS and Android systems, which offers basic functionality for any Avator 7.5e owner. Additional functionality is available by installing a SmartCraft Connect module on the outboard, allowing boaters to access digital gauges, GPS maps, notifications and tutorials, and connect with a preferred Mercury Authorized Dealer.
Overall, Mercury Marine is committed to innovation and sustainability in the boating industry and the next 24 months will be an exciting time in the world of e-propulsion and electric outboards, as the leading brands like Mercury continue to test the market and develop new products in this space.