The electric boat industry is making waves in Northwest Michigan, with the state leading the charge in the development of electric-powered boats, solar-powered boats, and marine-based charging stations. At a recent E-Marine event at Elk Rapids Marina, several electric watercraft from companies such as Vita Seal, X-Shore, Ingenity, and Lilypad Labs were showcased. The event marked the first time that four electric watercraft were gathered in one location in Michigan. The expansion of the e-boat industry is being supported by a $135,000 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., which is helping Lilypad Labs expand the production and marketing of its solar-powered recreational watercraft. Two of these boats are now available for two-hour cruises at Fountain Point Resort.
The electric boat industry in the US is currently behind Europe, but advancements in technology have made electric-powered boats powerful enough for waterskiing and navigating larger lakes and even the Great Lakes. While electric boats are currently more expensive than traditional gasoline-powered boats, the costs are expected to decrease as technology improves and manufacturing increases. Electric boats offer several advantages over gas-powered boats, including being quieter, emitting no exhaust, and being easier to start and maintain. The state of Michigan, with its abundant fresh water supply, is well-positioned to be a global leader in the electrification of boating.
Overall, the electric boat industry is gaining momentum in Northwest Michigan, with the state leading the way in the development of electric-powered boats and charging infrastructure. The recent E-Marine event showcased several electric watercraft from Michigan manufacturers, highlighting the growing interest in this industry. The state of Michigan is also providing support through grants to companies like Lilypad Labs, which is expanding the production and marketing of its solar-powered watercraft. While the electric boat industry in the US currently lags behind Europe, advancements in technology have made electric-powered boats powerful enough for various water activities. Despite the higher cost compared to traditional gasoline-powered boats, the advantages of electric boats, such as being quieter and more environmentally friendly, make them an attractive option for boaters. With its abundant fresh water supply, Michigan has the potential to become a global leader in the electrification of boating.