Hydrogen outboard. Yamaha has the first prototype ready


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Yamaha - Hydrogen Outboard
Yamaha – Hydrogen Outboard

After completing the recent acquisition of electric motor manufacturer Torqeedo, Yamaha is also putting the turbocharger onhydrogen. The Japanese manufacturer announced that at the upcoming
Miami International Boat Show
(scheduled for February 14-18, 2024) it will present a prototype hydrogen-powered outboard marine engine.

Hydrogen outboard: Yamaha gives it a try

Yamaha’s plan is to achieve Scope 3 carbon neutrality (that relating to indirect emissions from the value chain, such as products sold) by 2050, and to do this it is investing much of its budget in research and development. The road to the goal of “zero emissions” in the marine field seemed marked from the beginning, when a couple of years ago Yamaha decided to introduce Harmo, his first electric outboard, with which the Chief SQ240i, which we had tested in 2022. Then there was the rather unsettling news of theacquisition of Torqeedo, a giant in the electric marine engine industry, especially with regard to low-power outboards. Now there is great curiosity behind Yamaha’s next step toward decarbonization, which is the first hydrogen-powered outboard that it will unveil in February in Miami.

What we know about Yamaha’s hydrogen outboard

As explained in a note by the Iwata-based company itself, the development of carbon-free alternatives in the marine field must consider several aspects unknown to, for example, the automotive world. First among them is the most logical one: the engine is in contact with (mostly salty) water. But not only that, in fact we must consider that the type and place of use greatly influences the performance (and required power) of an engine. Lake, sea, river, ocean, for fishing, for recreation, for short or long outings-the variables involved are many. That is why Yamaha is not neglecting any approach in the development of non-fossil fuel engines, experimenting with different technologies, fromelectric (on which it is pushing hard with the acquisition of Torqeedo) tohydrogen (which we will see soon).

Of the new hydrogen-powered prototype, we know very little. We can assume, however, that unlike the Yamaha-branded electric range-with very low-power models-this hydrogen outboard will have high power. In fact, from the only images released so far on official channels, we can see that the outer grille is that of an XTO (Xtreme Thrust Output) V8, so this is an engine that will be based on the 400- or 450-horsepower conventional combustion outboard. We will keep you updated on upcoming developments, for more information we refer you to the Yamaha manufacturer’s website.

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