Elco electric outboard powers eco tours
10 July 2023
The EP-20 electric outboard from Elco Motor Yachts is suited for applications such as pontoons, runabouts and other small boats and especially those used in sensitive environmental areas where electric-only propulsion is required. California-based Monterey Bay Eco Tours is utilizing the eco-friendly EP-20 to power its 11.3 m catamarans, which are used to take up to 32 passengers on 1.5-hour nature cruises. According to the tour company, the outboard’s clean, quiet nature is its biggest selling point.
“Passengers constantly remark on how quiet and vibration-free the trip is, especially when we idle and observe wildlife,” said Monterey Bay Eco Tours owner Wendy Kitchell. “Plus, we don’t have to constantly position the boat to keep exhaust fumes downwind from our guests.”
According to Elco, its EP-Series motors, which include the EP-6, EP-12 and EP-20, do not require a marine transmission, making throttle response and gear selection sure and immediate during close-quarters maneuvering. The motors are also silent in neutral and nearly silent in gear.
The EP-20 water-cooled brushless PMAC motor is over 90% efficient, said Elco, creating 20 comparable horsepower and 177 kg of thrust. Powered by a 48V AGM or lithium-ion phosphate battery, no warmup is required.
The EP-20 outboard is available with a tiller or ready-for-remote throttle and a short 76.2 cm or long 83.8 cm shaft. With only four moving parts, it is also nearly maintenance-free, needing only periodic lower gear oil and impeller changes.
An optional DASH Bluetooth Dashboard Display enables easy monitoring of the outboard’s performance. Using a mobile device or smartwatch, it displays data such as speed, rpm and battery charge parameters.