Portable, blade-like electric outboard simplifies clean, quiet boating
While other marine companies were using this year's Boat Dusseldorf show to electrify fast, furious water toys of every possible size, Chinese e-drive maker ePropulsion was presenting its smallest, most versatile electric outboard yet. The new eLite outboard weighs less than 15 lb (6.8 kg) and is designed to bring immediate torque and power to small boats and tenders. The plug-and-play drive carries easily to the water, attaches and detaches with a simple, one-click mounting system, and delivers up to an hour and a half of quiet, zero-emissions power.
The eLite debuts as ePropulsion's smallest, lightest outboard series. Unlike large, powerful electric outboards with separate battery packs, the eLite features an all-in-one design with a li-ion battery stack integrated directly in its slim body. It measures just under 3 feet (914 cm) long and weighs 14.7 lb (6.7 kg), making it easy to carry back and forth from the water. The tiller even folds up to work as a carry handle, and the drive attaches to and removes from the boat via a single-click clamp bracket.
The eLite is positioned as an alternative to small combustion outboards, designed to power the likes of rowboats, small inflatables and dinghies. It has a nominal power rating of 500 watts for speeds topping out around 4.7 mph (7.5 km/h). It can also dial up a sport boost to 750 W for up to a minute, pushing top speed just over 5 mph (8 km/h).
The 378-Wh lithium battery stacked inside the eLite's aluminum body offers an estimated runtime of 1.5 hours when cruising at 250 watts or half that when dialed up to full 500-W power. The eLite's smart battery management system optimizes power usage and regulates battery level, which can be viewed via the UI display built into the very top of the unit.
EPropulsion bases its speed and runtime estimates around a single person on an 8-foot (2.4-m) aluminum dinghy weighing a total of 258 lb (117 kg) and floating in calm water – boat design, size, total weight onboard, weather and other factors will affect actual speed and runtime.
The eLite's ultra-portable design makes it easy to carry away from the boat for charging, and it comes equipped out of the box for AC hookup. With available accessories, the battery can also charge via a 12-V source like a car or with solar panels. A USB-C port is there to charge smartphones and other devices off the internal battery, which is particularly valuable if one finds themselves in an emergency with a dead phone.
The eLite is available for preorder through ePropulsion's dealer network for a price of US$999.