How electric boats are benefitting UK industries
In recent years there has been a clear shift for the UK’s boating industries as businesses increasingly search for ways to be sustainable amidst the UK’s commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This change promises substantial benefits and is poised to revolutionise not just how we navigate our waterways, but also the industries that use the technology.
From tourism and leisure to maritime manufacturing and marine research, the electric boating boom is bringing a wave of opportunity to UK shores, leaving a wake of environmental and economic benefits in their path. This blog will explore the myriad of reasons why electric boating is benefitting all distinct types of industries across the UK.
Marine tourism and local economy
When looking at the UK tourism industry, one of the key allures of coastal towns like St Ives and Bournemouth is the allure of the picturesque waterways and charming harbours that sit across the historic waters. Electric outboards double down on these qualities, providing a quieter and more serene boating experience for marine tourists. In a world increasingly conscious of environmental impact, pollutant-free operation allows tourists and locals alike to immerse themselves in nature with the peace and moral comfort that they aren’t disturbing delicate ecosystems that thrive along the shores.
The RAD 40 electric outboard by RAD Propulsion is a fitting example. Not only does it operate without emitting harmful pollutants like carbon monoxide, but the near-silent functionality allows tourists to relax in the sounds of nature without worrying about disrupting the local ecosystems. For businesses operating within the marine tourism industry, this provides a clear commercial advantage – even providing unique access to some of the most tranquil hidden Gems of the UK coastline.
For coastal towns that are largely dependent on tourism for economic sustenance, the promise of eco-friendly and peaceful boating experiences can attract a new wave of eco-friendly tourists seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The influx of visitors translates to increased business for local shops, restaurants, and accommodation providers, breathing new life into coastal economies and highlighting the economic benefits of electric beyond the waterways.
Research and development
With electric outboard technologies advancing to fully debunk the old electric boating myths, it becomes clear that the need for sustainability on the waterways has facilitated technological innovation during R&D processes. As an example, outboards required new energy storage solutions to make electric power viable. This meant that research and development of the battery systems were driven by factors like energy density, charging speed, and overall efficiency. Breakthroughs in this area not only benefit the maritime sector but also have broader implications for the performance of electric cars and especially for renewable energy storage.
Another instance of electric outboard-driven innovation? The integration of smart technologies to present real-time data analysis and improve overall safety. The RAD 40 systems as an example were manufactured with these innovations at the forefront, equipped with the innovative RADBus drive-by-wire system and RADLink mobile connectivity. This offers intelligent functionalities such as battery monitoring, Bluetooth app pairing, and precise motor control.
Ports and marinas
Another industrial impact of the electric boating surge is the subsequent overhaul of charging infrastructure at ports and marinas. Traditional fuelling stations are being complemented, if not replaced, by electric charging stations designed to accommodate the unique needs of electric outboards. This transformation requires a meticulous planning and execution process, encouraging investments in state-of-the-art charging technologies that cater to diverse types and sizes of electric boats and contribute to cleaner waterways.
The adoption of electric boating also resonates with the broader green initiatives undertaken by port cities across the UK. This alignment can further attract international attention and investment, positioning UK ports as leaders in sustainable maritime logistics. As more watercraft transition to sustainable alternatives like electric propulsion, the ability to recharge efficiently and conveniently becomes a decisive factor in route planning. Ports equipped with dependable and fast-charging facilities become preferred destinations for electric boats, stimulating maritime traffic and creating a network of electric-friendly waters.
In addition to the aforementioned broad and commercial benefits of electric boat propulsion, the technological advantages also extend to the marine-based industries that play such a significant role in day-to-day society. Take fishing for instance. As those within the industry navigate towards a more sustainable future, the electric advantage for anglers is significant. Beyond the overarching environmental benefits, electric outboards such as the RAD40 are inbuilt with precise steering functionality – like precise throttle control and drive-by-wire steering – in a lightweight design. This leads to complete user control for fishing tasks and allows the boat to be carefully maneuvered without disturbing the waterways.
The economic viability of electric boats is also a key industry factor. While the initial investment in electric propulsion technology may seem significant, the long-term operational savings are substantial. Electric boats have lower fuel and maintenance costs compared to their diesel counterparts. Fishermen can benefit from reduced fuel expenses, and the simplicity of electric motors often leads to decreased maintenance expenditures. These cost savings can have a direct and positive impact on the livelihoods of those dependent on fishing for their income and are just one of many reasons why electric outboard makes sense in general.
The electric industrial advantage
Indeed, the transition to electric boating in the UK has signified not only the new standards of sustainability on the waterways but also contributed majorly to a variety of UK industries. In addition to the environmental benefits, electric propulsion has stimulated wider innovation, job creation, and helped position the nation as a global leader in sustainable maritime practices.
Curious about RAD Propulsion’s RAD 40 electric propulsion motor? Interested in exploring the numerous industrial benefits of electric boat propulsion? Reach out today for personalised insights from our friendly team of industry experts.