Most boaters know Torqeedo, the electric outboard manufacturer that made a splashy introduction over 12 years ago. There hasn’t been much competition for Torqueedo ... until now, at least.
A team of four engineers from Hong Kong University designed a series of electric outboards and founded their own company called ePropulsion. The brand has gained traction in Europe and Asia, but until recently, had no representation in the United States. Four Seas Marine, a company based in Santa Ana, California, has stepped up to become the sole U.S. importer for the outboard line, whose products includes motors for everything from stand up paddleboards to 10 horsepower (equivalent) motors for sailboats and small craft.
The “Spirit” model lands squarely in ePropulsion’s middle range, and is the most likely candidate to power a trawler’s tender. Spirit matches an equivalent 3-4 horsepower gas combustion engine, and is priced at $1,799 for the short-shafted model. Like Torqeedo, the motor includes a removable tiller and battery, making stowage a snap. At 21 pounds plus 19 pounds for the battery, the total assembled weight is still 14 pounds lighter than a comparable 4-stroke gas outboard. The other difference — and it’s a big one — is that the weight of the gas engine is fixed, whereas with the removable 1018Wh Lithium polymer battery, the weight is easily halved into separate carry bags. Oh, and unlike Torqeedo, the battery floats if it is accidentally dropped.
As for other differences, ePropulsion motors are silent operators with no perceptible whine as you increase thrust, and are generally a few hundred dollars lighter on the old pocketbook.
More info at: fourseas.com