Subscribe
PLANT

BionX launches pedal-powered watercraft with e-assist

The world of hybrid vehicles sporting electrically assisted drive trains has been expanded to include personal leisure watercraft.


September 28, 2011
by PLANT STAFF

TORONTO: The world of hybrid vehicles sporting electrically assisted drive trains has been expanded to include personal leisure watercraft.

BionX International, an electric propulsion company established by former Magna vice-chairman Manfred Gingl and strategically aligned with Magna International, has unveiled its SeaScape 12 watercraft, which supplements passengers’ pedal power with 250 watts of electricity provided by two 12-volt batteries.

It’s the same kind of power assist applied by the company’s e-bike system, designed and manufactured in Aurora, Ont. and marketed globally.

“Nothing like the SeaScape 12 exists on the water today and we expect it to carve out a share of the $4.2 billion Canadians spend on recreational fishing, personal watercraft and human powered boating every year,” said Paul Gingl, BionX’s vice-president of marine products. “Our research indicates the SeaScape 12 sits in the sweet spot between human powered craft like kayaks, canoes and traditional pedal-boats and combustion-powered watercraft.”

The 12-foot watercraft seats up to two adults and two children and its electric support allows it to silently reach a maximum sustained speed of 8.1 km per hour for as long as four hours, on a medium support level, which the company says greatly increases the range of the SeaScape 12 compared with human-powered watercraft.

First run of the SeaScape 12 will be limited to just 1,000 units next year and priced around $6,000.

BionX says the craft is currently assembled at its Austrian facility, but will eventually be built at the Aurora plant where the e-bike system is assembled.