Car giant takes 25% stake in ‘green’ fishing boat motor maker
Giant US car maker General Motors has taken a 25% stake in Pure Watercraft, the manufacturer of electric outboard motor systems for fishing boats, pontoons and inflatables.
The deal, worth around $150 million, is part of GM’s commitment to invest $35 billion in electric and autonomous technology over the next four years.
Pure Watercraft, based in Seattle, makes systems under its Pure Outboard brand as drop-in replacements for boats that use a 25 to 50hp fuel-powered motor. It has also partnered with boat manufacturers like Tracker Boats to sell complete electric boats. The company says that the system supports a nearly four-hour, 20-mile fishing trip with 15% charge to spare.
“Our mission is to enable a new era in boating,” said Pure Watercraft CEO Andy Rebele. “This joint effort is expected to enable us to make significant technological advancements in range and charging, while achieving volume production.”
The new investment will bring engineering, supply chain and manufacturing capabilities to accelerate Pure Watercraft’s development of electric mobility in the boating industry, said GM.
Pure Watercraft raised a $23 million Series A funding last September to increase production, nine years after it was founded by Rebele. Following GM’s investment, the two companies will co-develop batteries that will ‘integrate’ GM technology into a variety of applications.
The production of electric motors is gathering pace in the boating industry. The watercraft start-up, Arc, has raised $7 million funding in the last ten months and Zin Boats is also developing an electric speedboat.
No fewer than eight electric outboard, inboard and sterndrive motor companies were counted at last week’s METSTRADE Marine Equipment Show.
The Electric Bass Angling Championship is a year-long series of fishing tournaments hosted by local clubs to promote the use of clean energy in water sports. More than 800 teams and thousands of anglers have competed since the start of the event. The goal is to get anglers to switch to electric power when it comes time to re-power their boat.