Modern four-stroke and direct injection marine engines are much cleaner than their ancestors, but they still burn petroleum and contribute to climate change. That’s why there’s an effort afoot in Maine to switch to electric outboards and to electrify the waterfront.
Because the initial investment to switch to electric propulsion is higher, the Island Institute, the Rockland-based coastal community development organization, is offering grants up to $4,000 and working with other electric marine power proponents to put electric outboards on 100 working skiffs by 2025.
The Institute’s thinking is that if they can get commercial boaters to use electric outboards, their use will spread to others.
The Portland Press Herald wrote an in-depth article about the efforts to create an electric-power waterfront. You can read it here.