Torqeedo and BMW cooperate on emission-free drive system for Vendée Globe

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Torqeedo and BMW are jointly designing a fully electric drive system to power a yacht that will compete in the Vendée Globe solo around-the-world race in 2020. Commissioned by Yacht Club de Monaco, the yacht is called Malizia. The electric drive system is only on board for safety reasons as the boat must mainly sail on the power of the wind. Therefore, the objective is the development of an alternative to the diesel power unit, which weighs in at around 380kg. One option could be to replace this with a Torqeedo electric inboard motor with BMW i battery technology. An electric motor can also act as a hydrogenerator while the yacht is under sail, charging the lithium batteries and providing power to the onboard systems and the canting keel. “Emission-free round the world under race conditions, while simultaneously producing your own energy, is a thoroughly inspirational concept,” said Malizia skipper Boris Herrmann. “Our technology partner BMW is conducting intensive research into battery development for hybrid and electric cars. We share a common vision of integrating these batteries into Malizia.” Meanwhile, Torqeedo will demonstrate its latest developments in electric marine propulsion and battery products, and will showcase recent electric and hybrid workboat projects from around the world at this year’s Electric & Hybrid Marine World Expo, which takes place 27-29 June in Amsterdam, Netherlands. In addition, the company’s co-founder and CEO, Dr Christoph Ballin, will speak about a major project at the expo’s conference. “The benefits of electric propulsion are obvious when compared with internal combustion engines,” said Ballin. “With electric, you have zero fuel consumption, zero emissions, decreased downtime and much lower maintenance costs, giving a very short return on investment. The sustainability revolution in the commercial marine industry is no longer in the future. It’s here and it’s time for everyone to get aboard.” Among the recent Torqeedo projects to be featured at previous Electric & Hybrid Marine World Expos are: ECOCAT, an aluminium 18m catamaran passenger ferry launched by Metaltec Naval in Spain; a fleet of 177 electric workboats designed to clean up trash and debris on canals and waterways around the city of Suzhou in eastern China; a fleet of 15 new passenger ferries for Vinpearl’s newest resort development at Hoi An, Vietnam; and a fleet of 43 electric passenger boats for the River Walk downtown canal system in San Antonio, Texas.

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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