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Alternative propulsion solutions:  ramping up the on-board experience and reducing in-use emissions

To gradually replace the thermal engines on our boats, a number of alternative solutions exist and are still to be explored. They must be thought out to adapt to all uses and all models. In 2023, we launched 10 new boats featuring electric or hybrid propulsion systems.

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Proactive business intelligence working towards zero emissions

To offer silent boating experiences and zero in-use emissions, including on board the largest units, our teams carry out ongoing research and business intelligence work. New ways of storing energy (batteries, hydrogen, e-fuels, etc.) and conversion systems (chargers, fuel cells, electric machines, etc.) are part of our priority focus areas with a view to accelerating the integration and marketing of more environmentally virtuous propulsion systems.

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Brands and partners committed and engaged

Six new 100% electric models were released by our BENETEAU and JEANNEAU brands in 2023. Our FOUR WINNS brand introduced the market’s first series production 100% electric bow-rider. With this innovation, we are paving the way for more responsible dayboating on the American market through electric boats with outboard engines. The DELPHIA brand has continued moving forward with the electrification of its range of boats for inland waterways and released its second 100% electric model (the D10).

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Targeting 100% alternative propulsion systems by 2030

At the end of 2023, seven sailing yachts, two models from the DELPHIA brand and one outboard boat model were launched, fitted with electric or hybrid engines. By 2030, we aim to have 100% of our models equipped with a view to reducing energy consumption on board, while improving the experience and comfort for our clients. The deployment of connected boats with SEANAPPS will enable us to adjust our offering and help achieve this. The DELPHIA brand is targeting 100% electric by 2025.

Looking into hybrid propulsion with our end users is helping drive progress for recreational boats. We have really brought the general publi into the design process.

Erik Stromberg
Product Marketing Manager

Unveiled at the Düsseldorf show in 2023, the Jeanneau NC37 is a concept boat fitted with a hybrid electric propulsion system. Our engine partner Volvo Penta trusted us with this pilot project based on a groundbreaking methodology: media, clients and dealers were invited to take part in the tests in Sweden to share their opinions and expectations. Erik Stromberg, Group Power and Motor Yacht Product Director, shares his insights.

Why and how did this collaboration come about?

Thermal engines make it possible to go quickly and cover significant distances, while hybrid electric offers an augmented experience on the water, combined with being more respectful of the marine environment. However, very few players on the market offer this. For sustainable innovation, Volvo Penta is one of our longstanding partners. This pilot project was an outstanding opportunity to help accelerate together the transformation of recreational boating.


What are the main advantages of this boat fitted with an electric hybrid system?

The experience on the water is quieter and more intuitive, handling is more responsive and docking maneuvers are facilitated by the precision joystick and electric assistance system. This is particularly appreciated when docking and leaving port! The battery also enables you to continue enjoying all the comfort on board without running the thermal engine when stopped or at anchor: which results in less CO2 emissions locally. In November 2023, the Jeanneau NC 37 was recognized with a Best of Boat award!

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What are the benefits of the groundbreaking participatory approach adopted?

We conceived this boat as a testing and learning platform to ask our end users about their needs and expectations. By collecting feedback from more than 100 people, we were able to measure the actual value of the hybrid technology and the new features offered. We had hundreds of hours of discussions and questionnaires were completed both on board and on land. We really involved the general public in the design process. This is what enables us to adjust the specifications to capture the attention of as many people as possible. And this is how we will be able to drive the transformation of boating.


What are the next steps for the Group?

This experience gives us confidence for what is to follow: we plan to introduce and market hybrid models in several of our market segments by the end of 2025. There is still a lot of work to do to replace a large part of our thermal engines. And hybrid systems are not the only solution! We need to continue to listen to the users of our boats, so that we can capture their attention and help them take this step forward.

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