Volvo Penta wants to switch boats to electric motors from 2021

Volvo Penta's electromobility laboratory

Hybrid and electric motors on board ships by 2021. This is the technical and commercial objective set by Volvo Penta, one of the leaders in marine engines. After the Deutz Torqeedo alliance, another step in the evolution towards an electric yacht.

Volvo Penta electric motors in 2021

Volvo Penta, a major player in marine and industrial engines, announced in a press release its commitment to provide hybrid and 100% electric solutions for its two business sectors by 2021. Without revealing the power and applications of the new engines, Volvo Penta says that field tests are already underway

A long-term process

The company is continuing the approach initiated by the Volvo Group in automotive applications. Volvo Penta has been thinking about electric motors for many years, says technology manager Johan Inden. "Volvo Penta has already been on the road to electrification for several years. We have spent time building skills, experience and identifying the necessary technologies on the path to sustainable energy solutions."

The company has reorganized to meet this new challenge. In particular, it has opened a test and development laboratory on electromobility at its Swedish headquarters.

Björn Ingemanson, President of Volvo Penta

Ensure a smooth transition from fossil fuel to electricity

For Björn Ingemanson, President of Volvo Penta, 2021 is the beginning of a long-term transition. "Main propulsion by petrol or diesel engines will remain the most appropriate energy source for many applications in the coming years. We will have a complete supplier approach to help our customers in the transition to this new technology. This will happen on an application-by-application basis, assuming that the economic opportunity to switch to electricity will be different in our many customer segments."

A challenge for the survival of engine manufacturers

Volvo Penta's announcement comes at a time when the marine propulsion market is changing rapidly. Recently, the thermal engine manufacturer Deutz and the pioneer of marine electric engines Torqeedo, itself a partner with BMW for batteries, have joined forces. Other electric engine manufacturers entrusted BoatIndustry with the task of attracting the interest of large companies in the sector at the METS. There is no doubt that Volvo's announcements are only the first in a series to come.

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