The global electrification of automobiles, trucks, buses, marine vessels, and in fact all vehicles, is no longer seen as a futuristic idea. We are currently in the midst of one of the biggest global industrial and technological revolutions in history. Global mandates and regulation have solidified and further enabled carbon neutral goals. Electric vehicle (“EV”) sales have skyrocketed, charging infrastructure initiatives have been ramped up (and will accelerate greatly in coming years), and industry leaders have doubled down on their respective focus on improved battery technology. What was once thought of as a debatable endeavor has now caused mass acceptance and excitement in the marketplace.
The auto industry began its ascent towards electrification quite some time before the marine industry. Some of the auto industry’s biggest and most prestigious names have already planned to go completely electric within the next 5 or 10 years. JLR (Jaguar Land Rover) plans to sell only electric cars by 2025; Volvo plans to achieve that same goal by 2030; General Motors plans to go fully electric by 2035. Well respected high performance auto manufacturers Lotus and McLaren will no longer sell ICE powered sports cars by 2028. Volkswagen, 2021’s leading seller of EVs in Europe (with approximately 25% of the market), aims to have EVs account for at least half of its global production by 2030. Even luxury brands such as Lamborghini, Bentley, Porsche, and Ferrari, now have an expanding footprint in the electric sector. And of course, there’s Tesla.
Similarly, the marine industry’s biggest names have begun electrifying recreational powerboats (generally at the fishing low voltage end of the market), yachts, sailboats, ferries, as well as large commercial vessels. The movement surrounding electric boats and associated technology has grown tremendously, as evidenced by at the 2021/2022 international boat shows, and the arrival of post-COVID induced “staycations”. Boating OEMs will inevitably need to catch up with automobile manufacturers relatively quickly regarding electric transition, and the elimination or severe mitigation of diesel and gasoline engine vehicles.