The future of recreational boating under battery power just took a $15 million step towards reality with Flux Marine and a fresh investment in their electric outboard motors.
The Rhode Island-based startup makes electric outboard motors that aim to clean up waterways and improve the small boat experience for millions of recreational boaters. To help make that mission possible, the company recently raised $15 million in funding – a Series A round – that will be used to expand its team, upgrade production facilities, and help to scale the manufacturing and distribution of its electric boat motors.
Started by Ben Sorkin, Daylin Frantin, and Jon Lord, Flux Marine was born out of an engineering project Sorkin led at Princeton. That project, a prototype electric outboard motor, received grants from The National Science Foundation, the USAF, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. Further developed, the motor won the Electric Boat Association of America’s Wye Island Challenge in 2019, and two additional awards in the Best New Product at the 2021 Newport International Boat Show for “Best Green Product” and “Best New Boating Operation, Maintenance or Safety Product.”
In other words: it seems like it’s a really good electric boat motor, and people who should know about those things keep throwing money at it. This does not surprise the people involved one bit. “Our ground-up design is an entirely new electric propulsion system rather than a retrofit of electric vehicle components into a typical outboard casing,” explains Flux CEO, Ben Sorkin. “The Northeast is a fantastic place for Flux Marine to grow – both Rhode Island and Connecticut have been powerful allies as we begin to scale our operations – and we are excited by the support of Ocean Zero and all of our investors.”
(Outboard) Powering Ahead
The Flux guys aren’t the only people excited about electrified boating. GM recently invested millions in Pure Watercraft, X-Shore is making a big push into North America, and more. “Electrification of recreational boating will make a remarkable reduction in the ridiculous amounts of pollution produced by internal combustion outboard motors,” said Stephen Petranek, Operating Partner for Ocean Zero LLC. “Flux Marine can make a significant impact on climate change if even a fraction of the 800,000 outboard engines sold each year can be replaced by fully electric motors.”
There’s some math there, but the short version is this: outboard motors, generators, and power tools aren’t regulated the same way cars are, so converting one generator to battery or one outboard to electric is “worth” several electric car converts. So electric boats? Good news. Now, with funding, Flux will surely deliver some great news soon.
SOURCE | IMAGES: FLUX MARINE.
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