ePropulsion, electric power

Many models, even more innovations, and a lot of technology. These Chinese electric outboards have what it takes to be successful

by Niccolò Volpati

LET’S START BY DISPELLING A PRECONCEPTION. If you think that “made in China” equals poor quality, you are on the wrong track. ePropulsion is just one of the many examples we could give you. This is a company that was created after six years of intense research and development, and the technological level of its outboards, as well as its accessories, is clear proof of its profound commitment.


Suffice it to think of the floating outboard battery. It detaches, like that of other electric outboard models, to recharge it from a normal electrical socket while on land, but also ePropulsion’s battery can float. This way, even if it accidentally falls into the water, it can be easily retrieved. This is an important advantage given that the battery is the most valuable element of an electric outboard engine and therefore leaving it on the bottom of the sea is not a good idea, neither for the environment nor for the owner’s wallet.

There are also optional panels with solar cells that allow you to recharge the battery in a very short time. This solution is particularly appealing for those who don’t love to berth in marinas and intend to spend a lot of time at anchor. The engine also features technologically advanced solutions such as the closed-circuit cooling system which, in addition to being efficient, makes it possible to significantly reduce the maintenance work.

Spirit 1.0, Evo, Navy 3.0 Evo, and Navy 6.0 Evo are the three models of respectively 1, 3, and 6 kW which correspond to outboards of 3, 6, and 9.9 horsepower.

Danny Tao, CEO of ePropulsion, recently presented the novelties for 2021. There are still three outboards in the catalogue, from 1, 3, and 6 kW, which correspond to 3, 6, and 9 HP, but they have all been updated. Spirit 1.0, the smallest, has been designed to easily switch between remote and traditional tiller control mode. What’s the benefit? It is perfect for a small sailboat that requires it as an auxiliary engine. Besides, like all other models, it has been equipped with a backlit digital display specially designed for night mode. Energy-saving is a must, also to provide the outboard with a greater range.

The new backlit displays are available in different versions: fixed, to be placed on the bulkhead of the cockpit or the dashboard, or directly on the maneuvering bar.

ePropulsion engines can also function as hydro generators. When sailing, if the gear is in a neutral position, they can generate and store energy to power onboard utilities.

This is why ePropulsion has presented an engine that combines propulsion with energy production. The propeller can in fact function as a hydro generator when the engine is not running. 4 knots of sailing speed are enough to create energy. Spirit 1.0 Evo can produce 330 W when sailing between 10 and 14 knots, Navy 3.0 Evo, on the other hand, at the same speed, produces 660 W and, the most powerful of the three outboards, Navy 6.0 Evo, produces up to 1 kW of energy.

The same engines, with the same powers and the same technology, are also available in a pod drive version for sailboats. Also, among the novelties for next year, are the man overboard devices. This is not a new system on the market, but it has never been offered as an option for a small electric outboard engine. The devices in question are bracelets that can be worn and are triggered if the man overboard moves more than ten meters away from the engine. Each engine can be equipped with up to eight of these. The way it works is very simple. If someone wearing the device falls into the sea, the alarm will go off as soon as they are ten meters away from the outboard engine.

In Italy, ePropulsion’s electric motors are distributed by Selva Marine which signed a collaboration agreement last September. Carlo Selva is very enthusiastic about the product and says: «We presented them at the last Genoa Boat Show and since then the requests and interest have never stopped». ePropulsion is experiencing the same success throughout Europe. In Germany, for example, new distributors have grown by 50% in one year. The reason is obvious. In addition to the high technology that these engines offer, this is a company entirely focused on small outboard or pod drive models. Their goal is not to make “showcase” productions, as has been the case in the past with some companies launching electric outboards with as much as 80 horsepower. The electric technology is perfect for small outboards or as a pod for small sailboats.


It is silent, doesn’t pollute, and can be used even in areas where motor navigation is not allowed. Furthermore, it very practical. No fuel is needed, maintenance is almost non-existent, and it can be transported or stored quite effortlessly in a small space. And now, thanks to ePropulsion, it is also priced competitively. www.selvamarine.com

They are also available in the pod drive version, ideal for sailboats of up to 8/9 meters in length.

(ePropulsion, electric power – Barchemagazine.com – June 2021)