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General Motors Invests in Seattle-based Electric Boat Maker Pure Watercraft

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【Summary】​Some of automaker General Motors’ future electrification plans might include electric boats. The company on Monday announced it purchased a 25% stake in electric boat maker Pure Watercraft. As part of the deal, GM is offering $150 million in a combination of cash and payment-in-kind, which includes access to the automaker's components and assistance with manufacturing.

FutureCar Staff    Nov 22, 2021 1:40 PM PT
General Motors Invests in Seattle-based Electric Boat Maker Pure Watercraft

Some of automaker General Motors' future electrification plans might include electric boats. The company on Monday announced it purchased a 25% stake in electric boat maker Pure Watercraft. GM's investment values the boat maker at $600 million, the companies said on Monday.

As part of the deal, GM is offering $150 million in a combination of cash and payment-in-kind, which includes access to the automaker's components and assistance with manufacturing, in exchange for the stake, Pure Watercraft said in a statement.

"Building upon GM's existing efforts to deploy our technology across rail, truck and aerospace industries, the combined expertise of these two enterprises should result in future zero-emissions marine product offerings," Dan Nicholson, vice president of GM's Global Electrification unit, said in a statement.

Pure Watercraft was founded in 2011 in Seattle. The company makes motors for boats powered by lithium-ion batteries. The outboard boat motor it developed utilizes a standard design that attaches to any standard boat transom. It's designed as a drop-in replacement for boat models that accept a gas outboard engine between 25 to 50 HP.

The company also has a lineup of electric boats, including pontoon boats.

The Pure Outboard electric motors from Pure Watercraft uses groundbreaking efficiency to benefit a boat's performance while lowering operating cost and maintenance than traditional marine propulsion systems, according to the company.

The electric outboard boat motors offer a lower total cost of ownership, as well as providing environmental benefits. The Pure Outboard boat motor emits zero noxious fumes or emissions. It also offers a more tranquil boating experience without the loud noise associated with standard gas-powered outboard boat engines.

The electric boat motor developed by Pure Watercraft is powered by a 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and produces the equivalent of 50 horsepower. Up to ten battery packs can be used together to support a wide range of boating applications. For most recreational uses, one or two battery packs will be sufficient, the company says.

For recreational use with one or two batteries, a charge can last between 2 to 4 hours traveling a distance of 20 miles on the water, depending on speed and weather conditions.

"Our mission is to enable a new era in boating," said Andy Rebele, founder and CEO of Pure Watercraft. "This joint effort with GM is expected to enable us to make significant technological advancements in range and charging, while achieving volume production."

Pure-Outboard-System.jpeg

Pure Watercraft's electric outboard boat motor.

GM's $150 Million investment in Pure Watercraft is part of a much larger investment in electrification. In June, GM announced that its increasing its investments in electrification and autonomous driving technologies to $35 billion through 2025 as it plans for an all-electric future with dozens of new battery-powered models. It represents one of the biggest financial commitments in the automaker's 100+ year history.

In Nov 2020, GM announced it would deliver 30 new EVs by 2025 globally, with two-thirds of the battery-powered models available to customers in North America. The first of these vehicles will be the upcoming Hummer EV, Cadillac Lyriq SUV and a electric version of the popular Chevy Silverado pickup truck that's due to be released by next year. 

GM said it would disclose any products developed from the partnership with Pure Watercraft at a later date. 

Perhaps in the near future, you might see a GM-branded electric boat being towed by an electric Silverado pickup or Hummer EV.

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