Mercury announces plans to launch Electric Power starting in 2022

Andy Adams 2018 Edited 400

May 18, 2021

During their recent virtual investor day, Brunswick CEO David Foulkes highlighted the company’s record first quarter. Net sales of $1.43 billion reflected a 48.4 percent increase compared with the same quarter last year, with strong demand across all segments.

That momentum will be important as Foulkes presented the continued transformation of Brunswick, which the company is calling the “Next Wave,” an extension of the “First Wave” operating model that started in 2019. 

“Brunswick’s Next Wave … is defined by distinctive new products and technology-enabled experiences to accompany the broadening consumer appeal of the marine lifestyle and unlock profound enterprise synergies,” Foulkes said.

Foulkes mentioned the significant growth of its ACES strategy (autonomous, connected, electrified and shared access), stating that by the end of the year, Brunswick will have more than 700 employees working directly on ACES’s commercialization into the builder’s product offerings. Foulkes called it a “unifying framework for many of our initiatives.”

He provided a glimpse into Brunswick’s electrified and connected future raising the company’s recent partnership with Carnegie Robotics leading to the launch of its first Advanced Driver Assistance System as a recreational marine product later this year. That’s a major announcement, but the biggest news of the event was that by 2023, Mercury Marine and the Advanced Systems Group will launch five electric-propulsion products, with the first landing in 2022. Foulkes also stated that the builder will have electric boats in four segments by 2023.

Foulkes then introduced Mercury president Chris Drees who stated that “recent investments and product launches have enabled Mercury to achieve its all-time highest market share — now more than 45 percent in the U.S.”

Drees did not provide additional details on Mercury’s electric propulsion plans but stated, “We’ll launch five new electric outboard models by 2023 and we intend for Mercury to be the market leader in both conventional and electric marine propulsion by the end of that year.”

In an article in the February / March 2021 issue of IBI, Craig Ritchie wrote that last September the California Air Resources Board (CARB) published its 2020 Mobile Source Strategy Workshop Discussion Draft calling for increased emissions standards that would target outboard motors. The document proposes reductions in outboard emissions of 40% from engines less than 40kW (about 50 hp) from present levels and from engines above that power level by 70%. These new standards are proposed to also apply to personal watercraft by 2027.

Boating Industry Canada News Week Digest had previously reported that on March 25, 2021, BRP  announced its five-year plan to offer electric models in each of its product lines by the end of 2026. That was big news too, but it makes perfect sense given the many new market forces and impending regulations.

Expect that the boats and engines we now enjoy will be dramatically different in just a short time. How will we gear up to make the most of the opportunity? What investments will be required and how will our customers react?

I think we are in poised for a once-in-a-lifetime sea-change in the industry!

Andy Adams – Editor

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