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Electric boats and ships market fast growing in the next ten years, according to IDTechEx


pure-watercraftA new report by IDTechEx, Electric Boats and Ships 2017-2027, shows that the electric boats market is expected to grow consistently in the next ten years.  Although this segment of the maritime market looks, fragmented, it is still highly profitable and growing: according to the report, the hybrid and pure electric boats and ships market will rise to over US$20 billion worldwide by 2027.
The urge to reduce emissions to prevent extreme climate change is leading several countries to ban internal combustion engines, in favour of less polluting propulsion systems, and many owners of industrial and seagoing crafts to go clean more rapidly. One large ship can emit the global warming carbon dioxide of 70,000 cars, the acidic nitrogen oxides of two million cars and the carcinogenic particulates of 2.5 million cars. Hybrid and pure electric marine vessels (EVs) have been around for over 100 years, for instance the electric boat Lady Lena dates from 1890.
The recreational boat market is the largest and fastest growing electric marine market in sales number, followed by underwater leisure and autonomous underwater vehicles. On-water commercial marine category is currently the largest marine EV value market.
Beyond new electric craft, there is already a strong and growing business in retrofit of hybrid electric ferries and other ships with pure electric or hybrid electric powertrains. Hundreds of thousands of pure electric outboard motors could be sold yearly as they become more affordable and more energy harvesting is provided on the craft to charge the batteries, improving range. Steady improvement in battery performance and price will drive demand upwards as will faster charging.
Although the marine market is not the largest addressable market for Li-ion batteries, it is expected to be a major secondary value market due to the battery typically being unusually large, one MWh not being unusual. Technical limitations facing such Li-ion batteries include energy and power density, life, charge rate, size, and weight. Other factors hindering the fast adoption of electric and hybrid marine technology is the ability to maintain and find replacement components for such propulsion systems.