Mercury's Avator electric outboard extends range with hotswap batteries
Mercury Marine has announced its first electric outboard motor at CES 2023. Designed to be mounted to tenders, micro-skiffs, rigid inflatables and kayaks, the Avator 7.5e "delivers reliable, quiet power to get you where you’re going" and features a swappable battery pack.
The Avator 7.5e delivers 750 W at the prop shaft and is the first in a series of electric outboard products from Mercury this year, which will include 20e and 35e variants. The name of the new range is a word mash up that references the company's past and future – a blend of Advanced and Thor, the latter being the name of the first outboard from Mercury.
It's reported to employ the industry's first transverse flux motor technology for quiet reliability, high torque and a similar speed and acceleration to the company's 3.5-hp FourStroke outboard.
"One of the main reasons we chose to be the first to use transverse flux technology in this application is because of its high torque density," said Mercury engineer, Andrew Przybyl. "The motor can generate instant torque at low rpm. Because of that, we were able to design a large-diameter three-blade prop that spins slower, which is better for efficiency and overall performance. The result is faster 0-4 mph acceleration and higher efficiency than similar competitive outboards. Efficiency is the name of the game in electrification, and the Avator 7.5e outboard was designed to give you the most out of every electron."
The Avator 7.5e comes with a 1-kWh Li-ion battery unit developed in collaboration with Mastervolt that's IP67-rated and can be lifted out of the outboard's housing for charging indoors or for hotswaps with an optional extra unit taken along for the trip to allow for more time on the water. Each battery can be topped up overnight via the included charger, though optional fast-chargers are due for release as well.
The outboard sports a quick-connect mounting system and weighs in at 59 lb (26.6 kg), including the 16-lb battery unit. It can be steered using a ratcheting quick-tilt tiller (that can be locked down to become a carry handle) or models will be available with Digital Power & Shift remote controls designed to fit small boat helms.
Elsewhere, there's a daylight-readable full-color display above the tiller which shows battery status and remaining range estimates, and the outboard works with the company's new mobile app for iOS/Android. Adding a SmartCraft Connect module extends functionality to include such things as GPS route planning.
"The Avator 7.5e is much more than just an outboard," said Mercury's VP of product development and engineering, Tim Reid. "We created an entire propulsion system, fully integrated from the advanced controls, props and digital gauges to an all-new mobile app. Every aspect was designed with the same attention to quality, durability and reliability as all Mercury products. We’re confident the Avator 7.5e outboard will deliver a superior boating experience for boaters interested in powering small vessels with electric propulsion."
Pricing has not been revealed at this point but the company expects the Avator 7.5e to be available later this year.
Product page: Avator 7.5e