Electric Boating Is the Future — If Battery Production Can Keep Up
ECONOTIMES - February 26, 2022 - BUSINESS
The electric boating industry is poised to grow in the coming years, following the success of the electric vehicle market and global demands for green transportation. Battery shortages, however, could stall the industry’s expansion if production fails to keep up.
As governments around the globe race to meet green energy goals, the demand for electric batteries will only increase. The U.N. is calling for the world to be fully carbon-neutral by 2050.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was passed on Nov. 15, 2021 by the U.S. House, would set aside more than $500 billion for clean energy projects. These projects include special initiatives for recreation-based ports and waterways, next to legislation from Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) calling for a 30% investment tax credit for electric-propelled vehicles that aren’t on-road passenger cars or trucks.
Major players in the energy sector are already putting their money in the boating business. GM acquired a 25% stake in the Seattle-based electric boating company Pure Watercraft, an investment worth $150 million. The market for hybrid and pure electric boats will grow to $20 billion worldwide by 2027, experts predict.
The demand for electric marine technology comes at a time when electric vehicles in general are hurtling toward a battery shortage. The number of EVs as total vehicle sales is expected to hit 8 million by 2025 and nearly 27 million by 2030. Meanwhile, that same year, there’s expected to be a lithium shortage of between 455,000 and 1.7 million metric tons each year.
As the global battery supply chain is impacted, prices for key components of batteries are also growing. The shifted focused to electrically powered vehicles, and now boats, is prompting a burst in demand that is outpacing the supplies. On top of that, lack of investment in lithium capacity will likely prolong the shortages.
Companies in the marine business are getting ahead of this problem. One is example is Vision Marine Technologies, a technology company that is leading the electric recreational boating industry serving both OEMs and consumers. With the growing demand for electric boats, Vision Marine recently partnered with Octillion Power Systems to build a high-density electric battery for their E-Motion™ outboard powertrain, hoping to keep up production without encountering supply chain disruptions plaguing the EV industry.
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