One year on from making its global debut, Propel, the state-of-the-art marine propulsion division of Saietta Group plc, is close to completing the testing and development of its S1 electric outboard motor. The Propel S1 will join the D1 inboard electric motor that has been on sale since the summer of 2022, as well as its new B1 modular ‘suitcase’ battery solution.
Contributing to the Saietta Group’s mission to help clean the air in the world’s largest cities, Propel’s product range is defined by simple and robust designs with clean, sustainable, efficient propulsion. Customers can place orders now for delivery in time for the 2023 European boating season.
Propel will begin series production of the S1 in early 2023 at a new assembly line at Saietta Group’s facility in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, which has worked closely with the group’s UK manufacturing design teams.
Distribution plans are also underway with 10 experienced dealers in the Netherlands already nominated and going through training and onboarding. Discussions with dealers and distribution partners in several other key markets across Europe are at an advanced stage and agreements will be announced in the coming months.
The European market for leisure marine outboard motors sees 200,000 sales per year and is worth $900 million. The rate of transition to electric motors is set to accelerate significantly in the coming few years as major cities plan to introduce new inland marine emissions legislation.
For example, Amsterdam has decreed all vessels must be electric by 2025. It is forecast that 74 per cent of outboard motor sales in Europe will be electric by 2030.
Sander van Dijk, Propel managing director and CTO, said: “Leisure boat owners and operators will soon have no option but to switch to electric motors as cities implement new rules to clean up their waterways.
“Adding the S1 outboard electric motor to our D1 inboard solution means we are in a prime position to offer customers robust and efficient zero emissions propulsion for a broad range of leisure craft.
“As such, we are accelerating our manufacturing and sales strategies so we are ready to lead the transition to electrified marine propulsion.”
The Propel S1 outboard range will expand over the next 12 months. Joining the 10kW (equivalent of 20 hp) version will be an entry-level 7kW and higher-power 13kW variants. By the end of 2023, in addition to the ‘standard’ propeller, which is fully optimised for the torque of the AFT140i motor, Propel will also introduce versions specifically optimised for working vessels and RIBs.
Wicher (Vic) Kist, Saietta Group CEO, said: “Propel’s rapid progress has been enabled by Saietta’s highly effective and proven axial flux motor technology. It’s already proven in the D1 inboard electric motor and it works fantastically in this new S1 outboard application, too: clean, highly responsive, easy to use and totally silent.
“Once you experience the Propel way, you will never want to go back to noisy and smelly petrol motors. I have been testing the advanced prototypes on the water over the summer and this product is in a different league to other electric outboard motors in terms of its refinement, power delivery and user experience.”