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Comments on the Torqeedo Electric Outboard

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Posted 8/11/2011

COMMENTS ON THE TORQEEDO ELECTRIC OUTBOARD

By Morton Ray CEO Ray Electric Outboards, Inc. 
 

Torqeedo is trying to compete with REO, but their efforts are riffed with hype, falsehood, mistakes and problems.

Torqeedo’s incessant statements and innuendoes concerning assumed deficiencies of our product, without any substantiation engendered these comments.

1. They didn’t understand the market:

They first marketed a 2 HP outboard with no remote steering.  REO has been saying for years that the only market for electric outboards was electric only lakes on pontoon boats, requiring remote steering.  They have of course corrected this problem, but it took a while.

2. No trip release presents a potential danger:

Torqeedo’s must either be locked down or free to kick up.  Either way it can be dangerous depending on the situation.  When running on open water the motor should be free to kick up or serious damage may result if it hits an underwater obstruction.  On the other hand if you are coming into the dock you have no breaks or reverse if the outboard is not locked down.

The Ray trip release will allow the motor to kick up without damage if it hits an obstruction, then fall back into running position again.  It will not pull up out of the water when put into reverse; you always have full reverse available.

3. Weak acceleration:

Both the Torqeedo 2.0 and 4.0 models have permanent magnet motors which have the characteristic of excessive current under increased load such as stemming high winds or pulling kids on inner tubes.  Under overload conditions the motor may be cutback by the speed control by design.  Also to prevent overheating, the maximum current may be limited thus also limiting acceleration and reversing thrust. The 4.0 has weak acceleration compared with the Ray, according to our tests.  One of our dealers reported an incident in which a 2.0 overheated and cut back when pulling 2 kids on inner tubes.

The Ray is not limited in maximum current or acceleration.

4. Exaggerated comparison of power and efficiency:

Torqeedo showed in their 2011 catalogs a silhouette of a Ray Electric Outboard and referred to it as a “Conventional electric outboard”. They said the power rating  =  input power. Ridiculous!  They also implied that the Ray Outboard could have overall propulsion efficiency as low as 18%. Actual efficiency is 45.7% , published under specifications on our website in 2009.

 

5. Torqeedo falsely claims largest propeller:

Torqeedo claims that their 12” diameter propeller is the largest available, ignoring the fact that the Ray propeller is 12.5” in diameter.

6. Rateing 2HP Torqeedo's at 6HP and 4HP Torqeedo's at 9HP:

This is certainly misleading particularly if statements like 6HP equivalency for the 2.0 without further explanation are made. .  Equivalent to What?  They, like Minn Kota did several years ago, are comparing apples with oranges.  A gasoline outboard is designed for a planning boat, so it doesn’t work well on displacement boats which all practical electric boats are. The real problem arises when the equivalency explanation is shortened or dropped like 6HP equivalency or just 6HP. So people hear and assume this small new motor by some new technology is 6HP.  I discovered a dealer actually telling customers the 24V Torqeedo is 6 HP.  Apparently 2.0 and 4.0 mean shaft HP, but this is not stated.   If the same method of HP rating is not used for all outboards, meaningful comparison cannot be made. Unilaterally changing the rating method will not serve Torqeedo or the industry well.

7. High Maintenance costs:

The Torqeedo apparently has inadequate protection against damage when the lower unit hits an obstruction.  This is in addition to the no trip release problem.  Apparently damage to propeller, gears, shaft connection or whatever might give way is provided by the electronics which senses the sudden torque increase and stops the motor.  One of my dealers says this doesn’t work and the shaft somehow becomes uncoupled internally, says he has had four fail in this way in the last four months. This breakdown starts with fishing line damaging oil seals admitting water into the pod.  Damage of fishing lines was reported not under warranty.  Any breakdown requires shipping the outboard to a repair facility as repairs cannot be made by dealers.

This contrasts with the Ray 2 year warranty on the propeller and all other underwater parts  no matter what you hit, fishing line included (1 year warranty in  commerical use). Plus the Ray motor is able to be repaired by the dealer.

 Morton Ray

CEO