Mercury is the first major manufacturer of marine internal-combustion engines to offer an electric outboard option. The Avator 7.5e delivers comparable performance metrics to Mercury’s time-tested 3.5 hp four-stroke gasoline engine, minus the locally emitted carbon dioxide. The Avator 7.5e is also the only outboard currently on the market with a transverse flux motor, a design that Andrew Przybyl, Mercury’s technical manager and engineer for the Avator line, says has high-torque-density characteristics. The Avator 7.5e comes with a 1 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery that nests inside the outboard’s flip-top cowl, and a color display with GPS that gives operators a wealth of real-time range information.
“One of the biggest challenges we had was setting up the overall architecture of the outboard,” Przybyl says. The solution involved auditioning different concepts and designs, and then choosing the right supporting technologies, including batteries, motor types and overall configurations. “In electrification, overall system efficiency is the name of the game,” he says. “The other aspect was sustainability. This outboard is highly recyclable.” Creating a recyclable design, Przybyl says, involved using componentry from nontraditional materials. “Sustainability is an important part of our culture,” Przybyl says.
While the Avator 7.5e is intended for use aboard smaller boats, Mercury plans to release the bigger Avator 20e and 35e outboards later this year. All three of these electric motors will employ similar architecture, displays and companion apps.
Charge and Go
The Mercury Marine Avator 7.5e can run for 60 minutes at full throttle off a charged-up 1 kilowatt-hour battery, or for as long as 2.8 hours at 75 percent throttle (or 6.2 hours at 50 percent throttle, or 19.4 hours at 25 percent throttle). Users can also change out batteries in seconds.