Steyr, Mastervolt partner on hybrid propulsion systems

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Mastervolt, the Amsterdam-based supplier of electrical equipment, and Austria's Steyr Motors formed a partnership to develop and distribute serial hybrid diesel-electric drive installations for boats.

"This partnership between Steyr Motors and Mastervolt brings together two innovative players in a way that will result in the development of the technology of the future, for delivery tomorrow, boosting the possibilities of e-propulsion in the medium to high-end leisure market," Mastervolt CEO Paul Kennick said in a statement.

Steyr won a DAME award in 2007 for its parallel hybrid technology and the company is working with Mastervolt on a range of serial hybrid propulsion systems. In these, it is only the electric motor that drives the boat. The diesel engine effectively becomes an efficient generator set that charges the batteries for the electric motor.

With rapidly increasing interest in hybrid drives among boat owners, there is a requirement for a one-stop shop for these 21st century propulsion systems, the companies said in a statement.

"We are delighted to be working in partnership with Mastervolt; it brings together the maximum of field experience from both worlds, advanced power electronics and diesel engines, and will result in a rapid growth in hybrid technology for the marine market," Steyr Motors CEO Rudolf Mandorfer said of the new partnership.

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