Deutz subsidiary Torqeedo – an operator in the global market for electric boat drives – has entered into a partnership with ZF Friedrichshafen AG.
Under the agreement Torqeedo will integrate ZF’s Steerable Pod Propulsion (SPP) into its Deep Blue drive systems.
The co-operation agreement was recently signed, and the plan is to have the first products ready by the end of this year. Under the terms of the partnership, ZF will supply components, while Torqeedo will carry out the worldwide sales and servicing activities for the Deep Blue systems.
The collaboration will help Torqeedo to build on its existing competitive advantage and give it a strong technological selling proposition in the 50 and 100 kW power output range, said Deutz.
Deutz added that climate change and the problems caused by emissions in urban centres mean that electrification offers a huge amount of potential, including in the marine segment.
It claimed that Torqeedo drives do not produce any local emissions and contribute to climate protection. Chairman of the Deutz Board of Management, Dr. Frank Hiller, said: “The various transport segments have different requirements when it comes to the shift to carbon-neutral drive systems. The partnership between Torqeedo and ZF is an important step in the process of driving forward this transition for sailing yachts, urban ferries, and water taxis.”
ZF’s SPP will add two functions to Torqeedo’s electric drives. As well as enabling joystick docking for high-precision manoeuvres, it allows electric power to be produced on the water itself by means of hydro generation.
So when yachts are sailing, for example, the Deep Blue system’s propeller, driven by the movement of the boat through the water, is used to run the electric motor thanks to the SPP.
The electric power that is produced is used to recharge the system’s batteries. This stored energy can then be used for when the yacht is coming into a harbour or for the on-board power supply.
The system therefore generates power autonomously, which means the otherwise essential diesel generator now functions solely as an auxiliary drive for emergencies, said Deutz.
Caption A Steerable Pod Propulsion.