The 30 hp Aquawatt - the world's most powerful electric outboard motor


April 28, 2011

Image Gallery (6 images)

Champions of clean emission boating will be thrilled to know that rapid progress is being made in the field and much larger boats can now be powered by electric motors than ever before. Australian electric outboard motor specialist All4Solar has announced a 30 hp version of its Aquawatt electric motor which will become the most powerful electric outboard motor in the world. Due for launch at next month's Sanctuary Cove Boat Show on Australia's Gold Coast, the 30 hp (22 kw) Aquawatt is claimed to be three times more powerful than any other manufacturer's electric outboard.

Two versions of the Aquawatt motor are available – 20 hp (13 kw) and the 30 hp (22 kw), both driven by AC motors and powered by 48 V or 80 V LIFEPO4 batteries. As All4Solar's name suggests, it can also sell all the gear to enable the batteries to be charged by photovoltaic solar panels, with a charger from the grid or by generator. Anyone who operates a petrol outboard in a marine environment will no doubt be eager to finally have a viable alternative to existing petrol engines for larger boats. Electric outboards are more cost efficient to run, much quieter, are maintenance free and generate no hazardous emission at all.

The new 30hp engine can achieve speeds of more than 50 km/h (31 mph) with a four meter boat.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon

Awesome! About time... Now get the price down and I\'ll take one.

Jonathan Hatfield

Be subsequent in your toughts. You cannot say that the batteries can be charged by a generator (probably a gasoline generator) and that the boat \"generate no hazardous emission at all\". How about the grid. Only solar and wind power in Australia? Not sure at all. What about the amount of petrol necessary to produce the solar panels?

That electric engine is a very good step towards the use of renewable energies, but please, don\'t say it generates \"no hazardous emission at all\". We live in a world of compromises and electric engines are a way to reduce the emissions. Not eliminate them.


@Frank 191: You seem to a penchat for accuracy. That\'s OK. so, to help you out, you should know that petrol engines are heat devices, therefore they are ENGINES. consequently, electric engines are DYNAMOS, there fore, they are accurately referred to as MOTORS. More than mere semantics, I assure you. Just trying to help...


Frank191: YOU\'RE WRONG!!!

Electric motors \"generate no hazardous emission at all\" is accurate.

The article is NOT referring to the electricity used to charge the batteries.

If the article was referring to the electricity source, the emissions would depend on where you are on the grid. For example, in British Columbia - Canada, the grid is supplied by HYDROPOWER which \"generates no hazardous emission at all\".

We also have plenty of beautiful and natural lakes & rivers to run our \"electric\" boats, while \"generating no hazardous emission at all\".


If I could get into my wooden hand carved kayack and stick my non-polluting wooden oar in here, it all depends on your point of view, this electric outboard motor has non-hazardous emissions at the time and place of use.

How the power is generated and how the batteries, motor, housings, cables, boat itself, etc were made and the materials sourced, as well as where and how they will be disposed of at their end of life, is something completely different.

(It is perhaps something All4solar could look at - if they are not already - and further improve on these motor\'s \'green\' credentials)

In the marine environment where these motors are intended for use they have non-hazardous emissions, and as Frank191 says, its a good start.

Its good to see that people are aware of, and raising the issues with the bigger picture as well.


Kinda getting sick of all this electric crap. Has there been some sort of major advancement in batteries that makes electric transportation remotely useful to the real world?

Seriously Gizmag, can we take a break with the electric modes of transportation.

Michael Mantion

The discussion here is (maybe) interesting, but also (probably) not valuable. Energy is energy and the source is the source. Other concerns for electric motors, engines or dynamos (take your pick of terminology for most of us) are around the raw material sourcing, manufacturing, recycling and disposal of the batteries themselves.

No matter what the technology used, in the end, it will be the commercial application that determines the acceptance in the marketplace. And the marketplace will determine its ultimate utilization.

Now I\'m wondering how big and fast a boat we could build with multiple engines, say 3 across the stern. Add in a turbine engine generator burning bio-based renewable fuels, for longer trips to minimize the battery we\'re starting to have a conversation.

Douglas Shackelford

We all know it takes energy to make things. Electric motors & other devices generate no pollution whatsoever when being used.

Lets get real, any device that produces no pollution has got to be good for us & the environment. Cheers John McManus

John M

Ok, ok, I apoligise, I should have differenciated the motor itself from its energy source (thanks Burnerjack, as you probably guessed, english is my second language). I hold on my opinion though. The motor does not generate any poluant right at the place it is used, but the source of electricity is still a problem. @ EGM : I come from Canada me too. Québec it is. 98% of our electricity is hydropower. That\'s very good, but it provides electricity for 40% of Canada. And Canada is 0.4% of the world population. The rest of the world relies on petrol and nuclear for energy.

Still, nice idea to fit an electric motor in an outboard shape. Makes it easier to switch it between different boats or to go at places where the water is not deep. Very good to access fragile ecosystems too.


Well done AQUAWATT another great Australian innovation !

Super quiet and clean for sneaking up on the wildlife for film production amongst many other uses like tourism on dams and lakes and pristine environments,the excess power production when motor is in OFF mode (sitting at anchor or on the beach) can be used for mobile devices,desal water production,refrigeration (cold tinnies and food), and sat transmission.

This tender or larger may be fitted with 2-3 m2 of high yield PV solar panels ( roller flex PV also) on a high tube frame (shade from the sun) plus an Aerogen or 2 and an in-water gen drag line, eventually a hydrogen mini fuel cell ( we are sitting in H2O after all) with a gas separation catalyst powered by the power gen units ,the H2 stored in carbon fiber tanks and Nano balls, unlimited range (until the beer runs out) All existing tech, just needs to be applied.... OYOYOY Go the world what we do best..Invent and out of the box innovation....ref !


@ Mantion: well lets suggest recent advances in horse pulled plows, spear points for dangerous game, and petrol fuels formulations. hey did you hear about replacing $2 spark plugs with lasers? that up your alley?

and whats with these electronic papers and calculators- all this electric stuff- get a pencil!

Walt Stawicki

container ships , like even extreme conservative Maersk, now has : 2 x 6 Mega watt electrical command/harbour navigation motors installed, in new built ship\'s.

Electrical energy is the at present \'latest\' to have been developed, as a seperate \'form\' of power generated. Thermodynamically it has the highest \'temperature\', I forgot the definition of a figure in numerical terms, but I know this makes it \'the most Pure\', \'The Highest Attainable\', seen from a technicians view to Earth/technology perspectives of enrgy distribution. This since the \'culprit\', the inherent \'criminal\' of all technical units/products, is the \'Death to The Coldness\' of the surroundings. The second ranked such \'criminal\' is fricion losses, liquids/mechanical.

That\'s at lleast what I was instructed to consider, as a trained, and practical applied, mechanicals design engineer.

Søren Algreen-ussing

Gizmag, keep bringing the energy revolution to us. I wish the people that are not interested in bringing valuble insight to the step by step unfolding would find other sights or read Popular Mechanics. I would like to see more advances on recycling batteries but one thing that concerns me with with electric boats is in the case that they sink. What happens to the ecology of the lake? How long will it last? Maybe a biodegradable battery should be mandatory on boats. If there is no such thing then it\'s a new industry to be mastered. Maybe the batteries should have a beacon to make it easier for divers to find and recovery should be mandatory. These are the type of things that come up and should be confronted in the early stages of development and Gizmag is a great place for it. Thanks


Try pricing the batteries to run these. Proper marine grade lithium-based batteries for something like this are NOT more cost effective to run- unless you are one of the few that will run $5,000 plus in fuel during the same time period those batteries will last you.

Only really high levels of usage make it cost effective.

Range on a boat this size with that much power will be very limited also.

I like electric and it has it\'s advantages but lithium is headed towards becoming the world\'s new oil.

However, if we do eliminate oil, what will we substitute for plastic?

Realistically speaking, not conceptual brainstorming.

Recycling is nowhere near able enough to meet the need.

There are more problems than emissions only in the world.

The number one physical need for man,worldwide,is fresh water and we can\'t provide that... and there is enough water,counting the icecaps to cover all but the highest portions of the earth?

Why can\'t we get the salt out effectively?


The makers are incorrect in their statement for as as far as I know the biggest electric outboard motors (drive pods) in the world are those on the Queen Mary II. Yup the ship is propelled by electric outboard motors! The electricity comes from diesel generators, gas turbine generator sets can also be used when higher speeds are desired.


In 1993 I built a solar-powered catamaran from a dismasted Hobie 18 with 160 watts of panels as a sunshade, and a 24 volt MinnKota electric trolling motor. Made about six knots, and would run about twenty miles at six knots on four marine deepcycles. Took two days to recharge from dead.

Ten hours at 160 watts = 1.6 kwh Four batteries at .8 kwh = 3.2 kwh No fuel at all! Twelve miles around Key West, no noise, no stink!

This was in the Florida Keys, and thus great insolation.

Ormond Otvos

48v equates to more than 150 Kgs of battery weight which is in addition to the weight of the motor. Gas powered motors in this power range are too heavy to easily steal but having an electric motor and 4 batteries would make theft much more of a problem.

Where it could have value is for a diesel powered yacht as an electric powered yacht tender would not require carrying gasoline with all its liabilities on the ship.


checkout campion motors 175 hp electric outboard

David Wallace

Micheal Mantion Gizmag is about emerging technology. If you don't know that electric transport is the transport of the future you really aren't looking. As for real world applications, my EV and solar panels are not only super efficient my wallet also loves them. Keep paying the oil and power companies if you like but don't expect me to join you.

Post a Comment

Login with your Gizmag account:

Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our articles