Canadian Manufacturing

Not just electric cars: Vision Marine growing a fleet of high-powered boats

Vision Marine Technologies focused on licensing their motors to OEMs in 2021.

March 8, 2021  by CM Staff

Vision Marine Technologies is manufacturing electric boats out of Boisbriand, QC.

With the EV market expanding this year, other electric vehicles are making headway in a variety of industries across Canada. Vision Marine Technologies recently signed a partnership with Tourism Quebec and Transport Canada to provide up to 30 electric boats for rental and water taxi operations in Montreal. After having gone public in Nov. 2020, the company has made recent news for also acquiring MAC Engineering’s IP regarding marine outboard electrical systems, in an effort to strengthen their motors and remain in a leading position as a North American electric boat manufacturer.

Canadian Manufacturing had the opportunity to sit down with Bruce Nurse, head of Business Development and Alexandre Mongeon, CEO to discuss their plans for 2021 and their outlook for EV’s from a boating perspective.

“Lithium ion batteries are expensive, and have always been expensive, but are becoming cheaper and cheaper every year due to the increasing demand for electric cars and vehicles. This has the side effect of making electric boats more viable as well,” said Bruce Nurse.

The five-year-old company has its roots in offshore boat racing, with Alexandre Mongeon a former racer, collaborating with Patrick Bobby, another racer and electrician, and Ian Bruce, a noted architect and designer of many boats coming together to explore electric boating. The fleet is manufactured out of Boisbriand, QC.

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Electric boating is still a fairly small market, with a few key players dominating the North American boating scene. The first one, Duffy Electric Boats, borne out of the 70s, initially operated small tourist marine craft powering at approximately 5 horsepower. Alexandre Mongeon named Torqeedo and ePropulsion as two other current key players in the electric boating scene.

When speaking about their plans for 2021, and what the MAC Engineering acquisition would do for them, CEO Alexandre Mongeon was not shy.

“We’re confident that our E-Motion powertrain outboard motor is the strongest motor on the market. Our focus in 2021 is moving away from actual boat manufacturing and seeking agreements with other OEM’s to license out our technology. We expect 75% of our sales to come from our technology moving forward and not our boats.”

MAC Engineering’s IP is expected to keep the E-Motion outboard motor competitive at the top of the market in terms of horsepower and efficiency. The team at Vision Marine continues to enjoy a boom due to lithium ion-based EV growth, and are using this to pivot to technology sales as opposed to boat sales.

This type of pivoting is a strong example of a Canadian manufacturer responding to market trends in a pandemic year through taking advantage of the EV market’s blossoming by soliciting their own proprietary technology to OEMs.

To listen to our podcast interview with Bruce Nurse and Alexandre Mongeon, click here.


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