Torqeedo and ZF signed an agreement to develop an electric saildrive system. The companies said in a joint statement that ZF’s steerable saildrives with joystick docking will be integrated into Torqeedo’s Deep Blue propulsion system. The 50- and 100-kW systems will allow maneuverability and joystick docking and “hydro-generation” performance. The companies said the first products would be available by the end of the year.
“Sailing yachts are one of the first yachting applications to migrate from combustion engines toward cleaner electric solutions. The products stemming from this cooperation of ZF and Torqeedo will be an important milestone in this transition,” said Christoph Ballin, CEO and co-founder of Torqeedo, in the statement.
The statement noted that the increase in hydro-generation efficiency is achieved by reversing ZF’s steerable saildrive while the yacht is under sail, allowing the spinning propeller to rotate the motor, generating electricity to charge the vessel’s high-capacity batteries. This generates substantial renewable power that is then managed and distributed for propulsion and other DC and AC on-board power needs by the Deep Blue system.
“ZF Group strategy supports transition toward electric mobility in all market segments, from automotive to off-road applications,” said Federico Decio, vice president ZF Marine Pleasure Craft. “ZF is continuing to expand its portfolio of environment-friendly marine propulsion solutions. The new fully electric propulsion system will literally steer skippers into a cleaner, more sustainable future.”