Boating Bits

Electric E-TECs on the way

BRP, the company responsible for the Evinrude E-TEC range of outboard engines, has plans to incorporate hybrid and electric technology into its future product line.

IN an interview with Fishing World this week, BRP president and CEO José Boisjoli revealed long-term plans for the introduction of the futuristic technology into its outboard range. Boisjoli said the pace of developments in new car technology would be used as a model.

“We see the fast pace of new technology in cars. What we’re trying to do is leverage as much as we can from that because they have the volume to justify the investment, and because of the volume, the costs are going down. Right now we’re trying to reduce the time of implementing that sort of technology on our product,” said Boisjoli.

“We can think long-term about a hybrid product, we don’t have hybrid yet, but it will come. You can probably count on electric for some products. But again we’re looking at what’s happening in car technology. During the high price of fuel, the sales of hybrid and electric were doing quite well and now it’s declined [fuel prices], but it’s only a matter of time before it comes back.

“You can expect in the long-term to see those technologies in some (BRP) product. It’s more difficult on a snow mobile at minus 30 Celsius, but on other product lines it could support the new technology,” he said.

Fishing World interviewed Boisjoli in Queenstown, New Zealand, where BRP launched several new products across its diverse product portfolio, including Can-Am ATV and SSV, Spyder and SEA-DOOs.

Boisjoli said the next generation of E-TECs are in development and would feature a range of innovations to compete with the recent release of lighter, faster four-strokes.

“From 2003 to 2009 we released a new outboard engine platform (almost) every year. And now we are starting to work on the second generation of E-TEC. It’s our job to come back with a second generation with more performance, more power, but also fuel economy – they are features that will benefit the customer,” he said.

“The outboard business is a complex business because you have a wide range of products … a lot of platforms. We are right now in the middle of all this and I think you can expect that BRP will be very competitive going forward in the outboard business.”

Club BRP 2010

There were plenty of other toys to play with in chilly Queenstown, including Can Am quad bikes and Side-By-Sides, SEA-DOOs and the unique Spyder. I’ve had very little experience with any of the above products, which says a lot about the products’ user friendly features.

The Can Am quad bikes were great fun, easy to use, and could be very useful for beach and inland fishos. I can think of a few trout streams, and Northern NSW rivers, where I’d love to have one of these for accessing hard-to-get-to water. After the necessary safety demonstrations we took the Can Ams high up a NZ mountain overlooking the lake at Queenstown.

Michael Guest and NZ V8 Supercar legend Greg Murphy were on hand for driving advice, while offering laps in the Can Am Side-By-Side. This new Can Am Commander 1000 XT features a class leading 85 hp Rotax 976cc engine. Although probably better suited to hunters and lead foot farmers, rather than fishos, it was a great fun experiencing the power and innovation from BRP.

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Stay tuned for more details in an upcoming issue of Fishing World.

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