19 Jan 2024, 13:25
Sören Amelang

Share of electric leisure boats on German inland waters is picking up


Electromobility is slowly gaining ground on Germany's lakes and rivers as the proportion of electric boats used for recreation is now estimated at 2.5 percent of the total, compared to less than one percent three years ago, reports newswire dpa. The rest either have a combustion engine on board or are sailing boats. In order for electric boats to become a mass phenomenon among water sports enthusiasts, more charging stations urgently need to be installed at harbours and moorings to make up for the low range of electric boats, Karsten Stahlhut, managing director of the German Water Sports Industry Association, told the newswire.

Stahlhut said that the use of electric motors remains largely confined to very small boats that allow battery removal for charging after mooring. Larger boats that use inboard motors need charging facilities at the jetty, which are lacking because installation is not financially worthwhile for port operators. "It's a chicken-and-egg problem: the demand for electric inboard motors is low because there are very few fast-charging stations, and there are very few charging stations because the demand is low," Stahlhut said, alluding to a problem that also hampers the rollout of electric cars. A federal funding programme to provide start-up financing for such charging stations could overcome this problem, Stahlhut said.

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