OK, so it’s a car and not a boat, but the technology is something right out of what I want for my boat. Small diesel (I may go gas, but…) engine running a generator to charge a battery pack which provides the motive force. GM is touting this electric power design at the Frankfurt Auto Show with their new Opel Flextreme concept car.
This design has some simplicity over my Prius and its hybrid design in that the internal combustion motor isn’t connected directly to the drive wheels. Its only purpose is to run at its most efficient rate and charge the batteries if needed. The car can run for quite a ways on battery only after being charged from shore based power (see, I got a boat reference in there). If you don’t have a chance to recharge, the diesel kicks in and away you continue. I just think this type of technology is going to keep growing, and as it becomes used more and more in the auto industry, the advances will trickle down to the boating world.