ePropulsion eLite – This super-sprightly electric motor takes electric outboard portability to another level.

While large electric outboards are having a hard job making headway on the water, the electric tender engine is making itself felt. Any motor that only has to push a small boat at 4 knots for a short time will never be handicapped by being electric, and is arguably more realistic than petrol power. There have been several new products in this field, notably from Torqeedo, Mercury and ePropulsion, all focusing on being user-friendly while offering good portability.    

ePropulsion eLite - electric outboard - The tiller is adjustable for length and height.

The tiller is adjustable for length and height.

At just 890mm in length and weighing 6.7kg including the built-in battery, the 500W eLite can be slung onto your shoulder or comfortably carried in its purpose-made holdall. It can be easily stored on board, and the one-click quick-release transom bracket allows for installation and removal in a matter of seconds. This bracket remains in place on the transom of your tender, so when fitting the engine you just have to slot it in and then engage the locking catch. The tiller handle converts to a perfectly balanced carry handle, which is helped by the fact that the in-built lithium battery is spread down the length of the shaft. When in use, the tiller can be adjusted for height and length. There are several trim and tilt angles, including shallow-water mode, and a 75-degree setting that lifts the motor clear of the water. The steering has adjustable resistance, and the shaft length can be adjusted by changing the height of the engine on the quick-release bracket. It is pretty straightforward, with four different lengths varying from 11 to 16 inches.

ePropulsion eLite. - The user interface screen sits on top

The user interface screen sits on top

Its smart Battery Monitoring System (BMS) efficiently optimises performance, carefully regulating battery level, temperature and the remaining state of charge – all displayed on a simple interface. Its standard operating power is 500W – the equivalent of 0.7hp – which, on the face of it, looks like ‘canoe power’, but electric propulsion does not relate directly to fossil fuel power. Electric motors produce maximum torque from zero to maximum RPM, which in this case is 1700rpm. Consequently, they can swing effective props for their size, as their torque output is relatively generous. The direct drive electric motor is located in the torpedo housing at the bottom of the leg, so it is externally cooled by seawater. ePropulsion claim to have range-tested this engine on 117kg of tender, with a crew of one, for 45 minutes at 4 knots, before the battery was fully discharged. Running at half power at just over 3 knots doubled this runtime. There is also sport mode, which adds an additional 50% power boost for challenging conditions, but this has a restricted runtime of just one minute, so unless you really need it, it is not a realistic option.

ePropulsion eLite - Note this engine has a kill cord as shown.

Note this engine has a kill cord as shown.

There are several charging options for the 25.2V 378Wh lithium-ion battery. It comes supplied with a 110/220V AC mains charger, while 12V DC and solar chargers are optional extras. There is also the choice of using ePropulsion converters, which can fully charge the unit in around four hours. Like most modern ‘smart kit’, the eLite includes a USB-C output to charge other electrical devices. It is built to be IP67 waterproof and is constructed of aviation-grade aluminium for minimal weight and maximum durability.

Price

1,320 euros (inc. VAT)

Contact

www.epropulsion.com

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