Like many great inventions, Torqeedo was born in a shed, this particular one located in the shade of the Alps on Lake Starnberg, Germany. With just a small wooden boat, and a single electric motor, company founder Christoph Ballin began experimenting with advanced electric motors, and batteries.
Today the marine-motor manufacturer sells seven different models ranging from its 15-pound Ultralight 403 kayak motor to its award-winning Deep Blue outboards. And now, the company that started in a shed is entering the (relatively) large-boat market with an electric-powered, 40-horsepower Deep Blue inboard.
Power for this inboard (and the outboards as well) comes from fully-encased lithium-ion batteries. The heart of the Torqeedo propulsion system, they are waterproof, vented, and rest atop shock absorbers. This type of care is why Torqeedo says its batteries will retain at least 80 percent of their rated capacity for at least 9 years and backs up the claim with a 9-year warranty.
This inboard is being incorporated aboard a 17-foot Kona RIB, and can be retrofitted to an array of vessels. Electric propulsion systems are becoming an increasingly popular choice for tenders since they eliminate the need for owners to store gasoline aboard their primary vessel to faciliatate fuel-ups.
Also new for Torqeedo is its Torq Trac app (shown below). The app is compatible with all its motors and allows you to see where your boat is on a chart and, shows you your remaining range. An eco-logging function shows you how much gasoline and greenhouse gas you’re saving, a feature that will help you brag to your friends at the fuel dock.
With this focus on building a user-friendly interface, backed by German engineering, the future of small-craft propulsion is looking a little bit greener.
This article originally appeared in the March 2015 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.