In 2019, a quiet but powerful technology made waves as the first electric-powered boat to run at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. Developed by Vision Marine Technologies Inc., the Volt 180 hit a speed of 30 mph, making it the fastest electric boat on the water at the time. That might not seem like much to Shootout fans accustomed to speeds upwards of 200 mph, but it gave Vision Marine a big lead in the race to develop faster, more powerful electric boats that may someday give their gas-powered counterparts a run for their money.
Located in Quebec, Canada, Vision Marine provides electric technology in the design and manufacture of the first fully electric powertrain outboard motor and electric power boats. Founded in 2012 with the mission to combat waterway pollution, the company designs and builds electric boats that produce zero pollution, have zero emission, and leave virtually waveless water in their wake. Their lineup includes a wide range of styles from the nostalgic looking Fantail cruiser—perfect for leisurely boat rides—to the high-power Volt 180 and Phoenix 290 geared toward action-seeking consumers.
Running the Volt at the Shootout reflects the company’s plan to move beyond leisure boats and become a trailblazing force in the development of high-powered electric marine propulsion.
“The Lake of the Ozarks Shootout provides a great platform to showcase our boats and our electric technology to the boating community,” said Vision Marine business development head Bruce Nurse. “We plan to race in the upcoming 2021 Shootout with the first fully electric 180hp outboard motor, the E-Motion. We expect the fans will be blown away!”
Boasting state-of-the-art engineering, the E-Motion powertrain is the first fully electric outboard powertrain system that combines an advanced battery pack, inverter, and high-efficiency motor with proprietary union assembly between the transmission and the electric motor design and extensive control software. E-Motion design and technology improve the efficiency of the outboard powertrain and significantly enhances speed, performance and range.
Their increased focus on power, speed and performance, makes Vision Marine well-positioned to take advantage of a growing demand for environmentally friendly boats and engines. The move toward higher power engines and the expanded availability of hybrid and pure-electric options is projected to increase the market value for electric outboard motors by more than four-fold in the coming years, from US$4.5 billion in 2018 to US$12.32 billion in 2027.
“Speed and power are major driving factors for boaters and currently this requires using gas or diesel to run outboard motors,” Bruce explained. “Vision Marine is providing the boating consumer an environmentally friendly solution that still provides power & speed with off-the-line torque that is superior to any gas or diesel motor.”
To fuel their ambitious innovation program, Vision Marine leadership announced they would take the company public in November 2020, making it the only electric boat manufacturer listed on the NASDAQ exchange (symbol: VMAR). By the time the closing bell rang on their Initial Public Offering (IPO) of 2,760,000 common shares, the company raised over $27 million.
Nurse said the tremendous response from investors indicates a promising future for Vision and electric-powered boat technology.
“The listing of our Company on the Nasdaq represents a significant milestone in our growth. We believe this listing will increase our visibility in the marketplace, broaden and diversify our shareholder base, and ultimately enhance long-term shareholder value,” Nurse said. “I would like to thank our employees, directors, and partners for their hard work in making Vision a member of the Nasdaq exchange, an important step that will help facilitate the continued advancement of our pipeline.”
Exciting times lie ahead for Vision Marine Technologies, and come August 2021, Shootout fans will witness their electric-powered advancements firsthand. Better yet, Nurse indicated the company might use Lake of the Ozarks as a testing ground leading up to the fall 2021 launch date for their E-Motor powertrain.
“Any opportunity to run our boats is always welcomed. The exposure and interest we receive by our participation at the Lake of the Ozarks and the Shootout make it a great venue for building awareness about our electric boating innovations among consumers,” Nurse said before adding a callout to their competitors. “We would like to challenge any and all electric boats to a race at the 2021 Shootout.”
So, if you see a boat cruising down the main channel at a high rate of speed without producing much of a wake, it just might be from Vision Marine. In the meantime, you can learn more about the full line of Vision Marine boats and electric powertrains at VisionMarineTechnologies.com.