Mercury Marine made a groundbreaking announcement yesterday at the Miami International Boat Show: It is launching its first electric outboard for pleasure craft, which it calls the Avator. This will be the first in a range of five other models to be announced in the coming months.
The Avator represents a significant step in a new direction for Mercury, which just last year released the largest combustion outboard on the market to date with its 600-hp V12 Verado.
“The Mercury Avator electric outboard program is the next evolution of our leadership in the marine industry,” says Chris Drees, president of Mercury Marine. “The innovations we’re exploring with this program give us a bold look at what electrification can mean for the future of boating. We intend to deliver another way for people to enjoy the best experience on the water while also building on Mercury’s commitment to sustainability.”
Mercury intends to bring its expertise in hydrodynamics, corrosion resistance and vessel integration to the Avator. The company focused specifically on fit and finish, usability and system level efficiency in the design process, optimizing the motor to maximize time on water.
The specifications for the first Avator have yet to be revealed, but it looks to be a low-horsepower, easily transportable engine intended for smaller boats. Within the hood is the removable and interchangeable battery system that allows for easy and fast recharging. An integrated screen prominently displays the battery level.
Orders for the Avator will open in September 2022, with deliveries to begin in 2023. And this appears to be only the beginning of Mercury’s foray into electric propulsion. According to Drees, the company is on track to achieve an 80 percent reduction in outboard emissions by 2025, with the Avator lineup undeniably playing a large role in that success.