MAN modular hybrid drive offers flexibility for greener boats
MAN Engines is working toward a greener future for water travel with its new Smart Hybrid Experience. The scalable marine drive ecosystem allows customers to flexibly combine traditional engines and battery-powered electric motors to create customized hybrid drives that offer silent, zero-emissions electric cruising complemented by longer gas ranges and higher horsepower figures.
We've watched electric automobiles make big leaps in driving ranges, approaching the point at which they'll be practical enough for nearly all types of drivers. The latest electric boats, however, continue along with limited ranges that often top out around 100 nautical miles (185 km). Hybrid drives serve as a solution for seafarers who want a longer range coupled with the advantages of all-electric cruising.
We've seen a variety of hybrid boats, yachts and commercial vessels on the water already, and MAN is looking to promote their adoption with the Smart Hybrid system. The newly offered solution will support shipbuilding customers in combining conventional marine engines, electric motors, batteries and accompanying hardware into drive solutions precisely tailored to their specific use cases. The drives can be targeted at performance, efficiency, comfort or some combination thereof.
MAN's hybrid powertrains will offer various modes, from full electric, to diesel-electric hybrid, to hybrid power boost mode. The systems will combine all-electric advantages, such as ultra-quiet, zero-emissions operation, with the added advantages of having a fuel engine on board to provide extended range and increased power and performance. MAN also says that the Smart Hybrid systems will be capable of serving as a power supply when anchored, much like the new Ford F-150 Lightning does on land.
MAN positions the Smart Hybrid systems for both the commercial and leisure markets. It will support customers starting at the initial planning stages and following through into engineering and implementation of hybrid drive components. Customers will have access to the company's global service network, including locations at ports around the world.
MAN announced the Smart Hybrid drive system this month so it might take a while for the first vessels implementing the hardware to hit the water. We look forward to seeing how different commercial and private shipbuilders incorporate the modular hardware into their future builds.