Electrification tidbits

Andy Adams

July 19, 2022

We have all been hearing about the rapid arrival of electric vehicles and electric boats too. In this edition of Boating Industry Canada News Week Digest we feature the news that Canadian firm, Taiga Motors Corporation has begun deliveries of its Orca™ electric personal watercraft so they will be out there on the water soon.

Coincidentally, BRP, makers of Sea Doo and Ski Doo (and many other power sports products) has announced they will acquire Great Wall Motor Austria GmbH, which is a subsidiary of Great Wall Motor based in Baoding, China. This EV R&D centre based in Kottingbrunn, Austria, specializes in e-drive systems and transmissions and currently employs a staff of 53 highly skilled individuals for future R&D as BRP makes their move into electric power. 

New EV cars and now trucks are appearing on our roads fairly quickly and that rapid consumer acceptance should open the door to electric boats as soon as our industry can get them to the dealers.

It will be interesting to see how our industry deals with the need for charging though. The cottage country power grid will be tested as cottagers start adding charging systems to their properties, but I see this as a far preferable situation to boaters carrying jerry cans of gasoline to their boats and filling up at their docks. Too much gets spilled into bilges and the water.

That was what happened at our lake as the marinas closed down, or at least stopped selling fuel, in the face of big costs to meet more stringent government fuel sales regulations. So, for boaters on smaller lakes across the country, electric looks very promising.

For those on the coasts or in the Great Lakes dealing with far greater distances, “range anxiety” will be very real. You can’t just “pull over” for a boost when you’re ten miles off shore.

There are electric vehicle chargers located across Canada now but during our NMMA Canada Day on the Hill lobby session, one MP showed us data that the government’s system of chargers was barely being used. He felt it was a waste of taxpayer resources and wanted the chargers discontinued.

The most amusing tidbit last week was a news story from the “Deep South” where they wanted their free EV charging system to either be scrapped or to be fair to everyone, free gasoline should be offered as well as free electricity!

It should be entertaining to watch the future unfold and if I was an entrepreneur, I’d invest in selling home charging systems and solar panels, not stocks on the TSX.

Andy Adams – Editor

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