Delivering electric mobility systems for sailing yachts
Torqeedo and ZF are taking electric mobility on the water to a new level by announcing a cooperation between the two companies to integrate ZF’s steerable saildrives into Torqeedo’s Deep Blue system. These 50kW and 100kW electric propulsion systems will not only offer manoeuvrability and joystick docking, but highly effective hydro-generation performance, allowing sailing yachts to generate their own clean, renewable power. The companies also expect the new drives to make an impact in urban mobility.
Owners of yachts up to 120 feet long can experience the peace-of-mind that comes from being fully self-reliant at sea. ZF’s steerable saildrive is reversed while the yacht is under sail, allowing the spinning propeller to rotate the motor which generates electricity to charge the vessel’s high capacity batteries.
This renewable power is then managed and distributed for propulsion and onboard power needs by the Deep Blue system. The role of the diesel generator is reduced to being a backup needed only for extended motoring or long term mooring outside marinas.
Electric mobility is an important emerging trend in passenger transport due to climate change and declining air quality. Combustion engines currently employed in urban ferries and water taxis are heavily polluting, with harmful emissions up to 100 times the levels permitted from the diesel engines used in buses and land transport. Electric-powered urban ferries and water taxis completely eliminate these harmful local emissions and reduce the operation’s climate impact from between 30-90%.
Switching to electric is also a smart business choice for most commercial operations because fuel and engine maintenance costs are vastly reduced, lowering the total cost of ownership.
“ZF Group strategy supports transition towards electric mobility in all market segments, from automotive to off-road applications. Accordingly, ZF is continuing to expand its portfolio of environment-friendly marine propulsion solutions; the new fully electric propulsion system will combine ZF’s Steerable Pod Propulsion system (SPP) and Torqeedo technology to literally steer skippers into a cleaner, more sustainable future. The system will make docking not only intuitive and relaxed, but also emission and noise-free,” said Federico Decio, Vice President ZF Marine Pleasure Craft, ZF Friedrichshafen.
“Sailing yachts, water taxis and ferries are marine segments with compelling reasons to convert from combustion engines towards cleaner electric solutions. The products stemming from this cooperation of ZF and Torqeedo will be an important milestone in this transition,” said Dr. Christoph Ballin, CEO and Co-founder of Torqeedo.
The cooperation agreement was recently signed, and the companies plan to launch their first products by the end of this year.