Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

12" White Stickers
BallOfSpray $5 Donation
BallOfSpray $10 Donation

GM To Ditch The Internal Combustion Engine

ozskiozski Posts: 1,568
I guess our children will be skiing behind electric boats ... GM's goal is to abandon the internal combustion engine entirely. At some yet-unspecified point, all of its products will draw power either from batteries or hydrogen. Fuel cells are sometimes referred to as “refillable batteries.” They rely on devices called stacks to combine hydrogen and oxygen from the air to produce water vapor and electric current. That power is used to drive the same sort of motors used in battery-cars.

GM was a pioneer in both battery and hydrogen technology. It launched its first fuel-cell prototype four decades ago. Its EV1 was one of the first electric vehicles produced by a mainstream manufacturer, but the line was scrapped when California abandoned its initial zero-emissions vehicle mandates in the 1990s.
'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'' Boat 2005 Nautique 196 6L ZO - Ski: KD Platinum



  • scotchipmanscotchipman Posts: 4,015 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Great, the sooner we have an electric boat the better!
    - President of the Utah Water Ski Club
    - Owner at Still Water Lake Estates
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 337 Solid Baller
    I'd be all for an electronic boat. So quiet you could probably hear the skier talking, or cursing. The sound of the boat running across the water will probably sound fantastic too.
  • ozskiozski Posts: 1,568
    Less noise might just equal more ski lakes.
    'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'' Boat 2005 Nautique 196 6L ZO - Ski: KD Platinum

  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 594 Crazy Baller
    I kinda like the sound of the Prostars, hate to lose that.
  • BrennanKMNBrennanKMN Posts: 377 Crazy Baller
    At the lake I ski it's the MasterCrafts and Malibus that get asked to not ski at 6am. Those are loud boats. Never a single complaint about the Nautiques running up and down the lake.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the sounds of a boat ripping through the course, but if it stops me from skiing I can live without it.
  • MuskokaKyMuskokaKy Posts: 275 Baller
    Nautique 200 electric has been around for years. I remember watching Andy Mapple testing it as his pond in florida. Wont be long before they are everywhere. The only issue i see is run time - especially for tourneys...Once they get that nailed its game on. The V8 humm will be missed!

    P.S. I gotta say ill miss the smell of gas more than anything haha.
  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 594 Crazy Baller
    @BrennanKMN Good point. I'm never up that early, so can't speak to that, but certainly if the louder boat prevents some good skiing time.....thats a problem. Maybe the electric boats can have a switch, or even a selector for different modes: Quiet, Mastercraft, Nautique, etc. Ha!!! There was an electric car that had to have noise added as they feared people wouldn't hear it coming and might step out in front of it.
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 2,201 Mega Baller
    Never seen an electric ski boat myself, but I've been told the cool thing is that instead of hearing the motor, you hear the spray.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 2,861 Mega Baller
    The major components are readily available to build yourself one any time you see fit.
  • liquid dliquid d Posts: 1,002 Crazy Baller
    I skied the Nautique one a few years back. You hear the whine of the transmission/prop through the water. It's not a lot quieter than a regular Nautique from behind it. I did not ride in the boat, so i can't say how loud/quiet it is inside. It skied the same.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,043 Mega Baller
    I never experienced one, but all the reports were that it wasn't as quiet near the boat as you might think, because water noise is a big part of it. However, I don't think anybody ever tested the sounds levels at a bit of a distance, and I'd wager heavily that it's MUCH quieter in that respect.

    In the realm of cars, I am still pretty darn skeptical about all-electric vehicles. But for a ski boat, I just think it makes all the sense in the world. Many great reasons were already given above, but solar recharge should also be in the equation. Most boats are idle at a consistent location nearly all the time.

    I admit I'll miss certain sounds and smells at first, but ultimately those are good because of their association with the fun of skiing. Soon, whatever idiosyncrasies the electric boats have will gain that association, and thus become equally awesome.

    And I would certainly not miss carrying gas cans.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • FatrollFatroll Posts: 215 Solid Baller
    considering we are going to have houses built along the shoreline where our course is, if this tech came soon, we might actually be able to save our course. less noise at 6 am
    2016 Ski Nautique 200 OB 2016 Radar Vapor 69.5"
    Wish they had a bonus buoy count for increased body fat index
  • GolfguyGolfguy Posts: 133 Baller
    I would be very interested to see what this would do to the cost of boats and if the weight differential is substantial. Any thoughts?
  • JAGJAG Posts: 178 Crazy Baller
    edited October 2017
    Ever hear a Ducati L Twin?

    I think Internal Combustion will be with us for a long time.
  • GloersenGloersen Posts: 815 Crazy Baller
    from a few years ago, the 196 electric:

    a 210:
  • AndreAndre Posts: 986 Crazy Baller
    @AdamCord is right.
    Electric motor : 1rpm=100% torque !

    Link to the electric Nautique 196 from a few years ago.
  • DWDW Posts: 1,853 Mega Baller
    I had the opportunity to ride in the e196, very interesting and as noted, you heard the prop rotation and the water/hull noise. Quieter for sure, not silent as energy dissipation is still in the form of noise. @AdamCord noted, the calibration of the IC engine is not a simple process, even with the relatively simplistic marine ECU that deals with orders of magnitude fewer requirements or stringent (emissions / idle quality / fuel economy / temperature control / catalyst light off, etc) requirements.

    Not surprising on the pronouncement of where the power unit technology is going, the EU has already posted regulations coming in +/- 10 years on phasing out of fossil fuel power units. You can see the technology in development in F1 and WEC, 50% or less of the overall power delivery is actually from the IC engine, in the case of the Porsche 919, a 1.4 L turbocharged Power Unit via numerous supporting technologies delivers 1000+ hp to the wheels.

    The switch to alternate power may not be limited by the actual power unit but more by the infrastructure to support the fuel source (electricity / hydrogen). GM has a fleet of hydrogen powered vehicles that have been around for a long time, the inconvenience or limiting ability to offer them to the masses is where to fill, not the actual engine technology. Significant electric grid updates will be needed to offer adequate and reliable energy supply for a mobile society and one that views transportation very differently than current and previous generations of people.
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    If you need to ski early (which I do), install a Fresh Air Exhaust. I loved the sound of my Prostar 6.2L, but it is worth it to have the FAE to keep the rest of the folks on the lake happy. From directly behind the boat all you hear is the water splashing off the hull - zero exhaust noise.
    Jim Ross
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,624 MM Trick Skier / Eccentric Person
    The sailing team did not want to share Lake Lagunita with us. Noise was one issue they raised. So we dug up a decibel meter and measured sound levels from my boat at speed. From shore, when the boat was approaching you could not hear the engine at all. There was quite a bit of spray noise. Measured almost the same decibels as when the boat was going away and you could hear the engine noise through the mufflers. The boat was loud enough from just the spray to keep us off the lake in the early morning (dorms overlooked the lake). An electric engine would not have helped. I graduated, a prolonged drought and water management policies dried up the lake and ended the issue.

    My buddy's Tesla is not significantly quieter than a well muffled car. With the a/c going, it was easy to hear when parked (we joked about needing a new muffler). And the motor whined a lot when he demonstrated a max performance take off (to be fair, even well muffled cars are loud at max power). Road noise overshadows engine noise in most cars.

    Hydrogen is a scary option. It is an extremely powerful greenhouse gas. Hydrogen is a small molecule and can pass through steel. If the use is widespread enough, leakage might offset the carbon gains. Obviously, there are technical solutions possible but they are not yet in place - hence, not many hydrogen fueled vehicles.

    At the tournaments, use the swing arm that swaps ropes to also change out batteries between skiers. Lightens the boat and could be quite manageable. Leave a bunch of batteries in for tricks. Recharge with the solar array from the dock shade. I feel so green!

  • j2nhj2nh Posts: 63 Baller
    This is a long way down the road.
    Water is heavy and pushing a boat thru the water takes energy. The problem with current battery technology is twofold, weight and charging. You're talking about adding a ton of weight to a boat where weight has to overcome the "push" of water. Until you can get to 6 hours of useable time I don't see it happening.
    As for the environment, most of the energy currently that charges batteries comes from coal generation, again, that isn't going to change for a while.

    This is something my grandkids might be able to enjoy but I don't think I'll see it in my lifetime, 20 more years God willing.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,043 Mega Baller
    20 years is a long time in Technology Years. And there are powerful market incentives to dramatically improve large capacity batteries. That doesn't mean it can be done, but it does mean that smart people will work on it. The breakthrough will come unpredictably -- maybe in 1 year, maybe in 100 years.

    Weight isn't a huge problem -- see fully functional proof of concept!
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • swc5150swc5150 Posts: 2,018 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    No one seems to be talking about it, but Mazda's new gas compression engine seems much more realistic techno in the near term for boats (maybe?). Diesel-like torque and fuel economy, with reg gas. I'll take that.
    Scott Calderwood
    Keith Menard
  • ozskiozski Posts: 1,568
    I don't think this is as far down the road as people might think, pretty much every major auto manufacturer in the world is invested in electric now, the ones who are not will get left behind. On top of that the number of moving parts required to build a car has been reduced significantly, something like 29 in a Tesla. This opens the door for new car company start ups and new revenue models, everything is about to change which is pretty exciting. As electric tech scales up and becomes cheaper it might just help bring the price of boats down...
    'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'' Boat 2005 Nautique 196 6L ZO - Ski: KD Platinum

  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 2,861 Mega Baller
    @j2nh very true - they need to publish much more comprehensive data in terms of the true costs of operating different engines. Historically when the Prius became popular the math still said that running your existing Chevy Suburban until it died was more environmentally friendly to just drive the Suburban than to trash it for a Prius. Would also like to see CNG with concentrators to fuel the boat -
  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,108 Mega Baller
    @scotchipman the Tesla solar roof is all smoke and mirrors. The cost, on average, is 5-10x the cost of a conventional roof. With required maintanance it’s impossible to overcome the first costs. The pricing is setup for Tesla to basically collect the tax credit you could realize when you buy it. Save your money.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Vice President
Sign In or Register to comment.