Horsepower and happiness

Andy Adams

July 26, 2022

If you have not noticed, in the electric vehicle space, the big news is all about high horsepower and big performance – not the environment and economy.

Years ago, I just happened to get a Toyota Prius rental car on a business trip to Wisconsin and it turned out to be perfectly acceptable in every way, plus it got incredible fuel mileage. It was a slightly slow little economy car and not very exciting, but I was impressed by the fuel economy and the silent way it could get around a parking lot on just the electric motors. 

In the latest issue of Car & Driver magazine, they review the new Ford F-150 Lightning and the reviewers were very impressed with the performance; this full-size, fully-electric quad-cab pickup ran from 0 to 60 in 4-seconds and did the quarter mile in 12.7 seconds. That’s faster than a V8 Mustang and yet it weighs a staggering 6,885 lbs and even at that, it has an 8,500 lb towing capacity – my gawd!

In the USA the as-tested price came to $93,609 – imagine the Canadian price. And the GST…!

In this edition of Boating Industry Canada News Week Digest, we have the story of the Beneteau Group and Four Winns partnering with the Canadian firm Vision Marine Technologies to offer the Vision Marine E-Motion™180 hp powertrain system on the handsome new Four Winns H series boats.

We have had little electric outboards for years from several different companies but this is the first full-sized, luxurious outboard runabout to have big power and performance. Of course, expect that it will have a big price tag too, but that won’t stop the early adopters from wanting to be the first to have one of these.

Just as the very ‘in-demand’ Tesla cars have never been inexpensive, I’d bet that these will be very successful and it will be that combination of performance and exclusivity, that will attract the buyers. If buyers just wanted to make an environmental statement, a pontoon boat with a Torqeedo motor might be a better choice but there is no “gee-whiz” aspect to that purchase.

I guess that to bring about a significant change in consumer behavior, there needs to be more than just the feeling that you are being environmentally responsible. For now, horsepower seems to be linked to happiness.

Andy Adams – Editor

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