The time for electric mobility on water for Italy seems to have arrived. The Torqeedo brand, among the world’s largest manufacturers of electric motors, has decided to focus on Italian boating by structuring a direct sales network in the territory(read the news here). We had Gennaro Giliberti, Torqeedo sales manager and key account for Italy, tell us what the situation is like, what the critical points are and how they can be overcome.
Is our peninsula ready to welcome electric on water?
Especially for lakes we are getting a lot of requests, for example, for outboards with power around 20 horsepower. It must be said that for now the one that is going for the most is the commercial application, such as cab boats. The reason is quickly stated: intensive use allows the price to be amortized in 3-4 years, saving on fuel. This does not detract from the fact that there are many boaters who already use our engines, especially for those who want to sail in Marine Protected Areas or on lakes.
And compared to Europe, where do we stand?
Cities such as Paris or Hamburg, not to mention Amsterdam, have already set their sights on small electric water transportation. Here in Italy we might be well on our way, but there happens to be a lack of places to upload them. There is the will, but more work needs to be done on the infrastructure side. We are facing a real revolution, but it needs to be managed. Certainly the market is ripe to embrace these kinds of products, not least because they bring with them important advantages as we look to the future.
Regarding criticism of the range of boats with this type of propulsion?
What needs to change is the approach. To go the miles that a small motorboat does on a daily outing, the batteries of an electric motor are more than enough. Of course, they are not engines designed for extreme performance, but rather for slower, quieter sailing. Already at the design level there is a need for boats designed specifically for this type of propulsion. For a fast planing boat for now, the electric motor is not the ideal solution. On a larger, displacement boat, it is certainly easier, both in terms of space and weight. If the focus is not on speed but on slower sailing, small dayboats and tenders also offer many opportunities for development. It is a matter of approach and awareness of the kind of sailing you are going to do.
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