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It's Electric!
Outboard earns U.S. & Int'l innovation awards

Posted Monday, November 27, 2006

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A revolutionary new electric outboard is taking the marine world by storm. Just 2 weeks after the Torqeedo Travel 801 won the 2006 IBEX Innovation Award in Miami, it also won the DAME Jury Award for Innovation at the METS Exhibition in Amsterdam.

The Travel by Torqeedo of Germany is an environmentally friendly alternative to heavy, high-maintenance internal combustion engines. High-powered, ultra-light and foldable, the engine wowed judges and onlookers alike at both shows. The efficient, maintenance-free engine is being welcomed by a rapidly expanding international market hungry for such a product.

At the 16th annual International Boatbuilders Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) in Miami, the Travel 801 won the Innovation Award in the Outboard Engines category. During the industry breakfast, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) presented the award following judging by members of Boating Writers International (BWI).

Lead BWI judge Roger Marshall commented, "The Torqeedo electric outboard is unique in that it has a six-pound lithium manganese battery that can be removed from the motor by simply lifting it off the unit. Once it is removed, Torqeedo's product can be recharged nightly for use the following day. It is completely collapsible, easily assembled, weighs only 25 pounds and can be transported in a kit bag."

The METS DAME Jury called the Travel from Torqeedo "futuristic." "Imagine if you could have an electric outboard for your tender that had a self-contained battery and weighed less than an equivalent internal combustion outboard motor. Imagine no longer."

Torqeedo is the first manufacturer to introduce an integrated lithium-manganese battery (LIMA-cell), improving safety and eliminating awkward battery connections. Weighing less than 8 pounds, it can be fixed to and removed from the engine within seconds. The Travel is practical for boats with no electric supply at the dock.

Torqeedo also is first to use electronically commutated permanent-magnet excited external rotor motors (a.k.a. "torque" motors, hence the company name) and the only outboard manufacturer to use high-performance, variable-pitch, variable-camber propellers. The shorter shafts are suitable for smaller, flatter boats.

Another design innovation that impressed the judges is a folding mechanism that makes the engine completely collapsible, easily assembled and neatly inserted into its waterproof travel pack.

"We're gratified that the marine industry recognizes what this means for this class of motors," says Torqeedo managing partner, Dr. Christoph Ballin. "Our engineers can be proud of their achievement, particularly for a company founded less than two years ago."

Contact Torqeedo Inc., 22705 W. Lochanora Dr., Hawthorn Woods, IL 60047. 312-377-6116.

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