A new zero-emission outboard engine concept called the Orka was revealed by Ecomar Propulsion at this year’s Electric & Hybrid Marine Expo in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Currently under development, the company’s purely electric Orka outboard range is 94% recyclable with a claimed maximum power output of 200kW. It can be fitted with multiple battery pack combinations ranging from 43kWh to 2MWh and can deliver high torque. Modular by design, the motor can also be serviced and repaired easily.
Developed to withstand the extreme conditions found in commercial maritime operations, all the Orka’s high-voltage equipment is housed within an IP68 sealed powerhead unit. The cowls are made from a robust, impact-resistant material to increase durability.
Each outboard is produced using distinct modules, meaning each component can be replaced by two people using only basic hand tools and minimal lifting equipment. The solution includes integrated handholds and rapid-release power connections. The transom mounts and tilt trim mechanisms have been designed to fit into standard BIA templates to reduce refit time and costs.
The Orka system has been designed to ensure it can be reused, recycled or rerated, meaning owners of the clean propulsion solution can alter performance without changing the entire engine unit.
“Our outboard range is a major step in the move toward a sustainable marine environment,” commented Eugene Bari, the managing director of Ecomar Propulsion. “We aim to remove 10 million tonnes of CO2 in the next 10 years. With our focus on products specifically designed for the workboat market, we hope to prove that the transition to clean marine is possible today.”
Bari continued, “We will initially be building the Orka range in the UK and Denmark and production will begin in late 2023. We look at every aspect of production and are determined to drive toward locally produced, reliable and sustainable products wherever we can. The days of dirty gas engines are over. The big boys just don’t know it yet.”
The propulsion system has been developed for use by commercial marine operations, such as those within the aquaculture, port operations, ferry and harbor sectors. It will be available in Europe from 2023/4.