FLIBS 2018: Volvo Penta looks to the future

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Ron Huibers looks to the future with Volvo Penta’s hybrid propulsion.

Ron Huibers looks to the future with Volvo Penta’s hybrid propulsion.

Addressing the media at Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show yesterday, Ron Huibers, president and CEO of Volvo Penta of the Americas, discussed the manufacturer’s plans for the future.

“We want to become the world leader in sustainable power solutions,” he said during a presentation at the Bahia Mar Hotel and Marina.

Borrowing technology from sister companies that have built an electric bus and hybrid power for trucks, the marine division says it will have an electric-hybrid propulsion system by 2021. “We own the system, which is what makes it different than anything else on the market,” Huibers said.

Additionally, the Volvo Penta is ramping up its Ease of Operation initiative with advances to its Active Ride Control, an automatic trim system. Water Sport Control, a single screen that comes with the Forward Drive, is intended to provide the driver of wake-surfing boats with total control on one display.

The Swedish company also announced at the show that its OceanX titanium-ceramic corrosion protection is now available for the Forward Drive.

Finally, Seven Marine — Volvo Penta acquired a majority stake in the company in 2017 — announced that its high-output outboards are now available in 627, 627SV, 527 and 577 horsepower ratings. The engines earned the CE mark for sale in Europe and made their international debuts at shows in Monaco and France.


Live from Dealer Week

Our live-streamed interviews from the final day of the show included MRAA president Matt Gruhn and vice president Liz Walz, Eric Smith of Colorado Boat Center, and Lou Cecchini of Off Shore Marine.