With this hybrid-electric propulsion from Volvo Penta, the future is already here

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Jeanneau NC37 - Volvo Penta
Jeanneau NC37 – Volvo Penta

A few weeks ago we had a chance to experience the future of mobility at sea. A date that will remain indelibly etched in memory for us insiders. The opportunity was granted to us by Volvo Penta, which, together with the Bénéteau Group, gave us the experience of sailing aboard a Jeanneau NC37 transformed for the occasion into a laboratory boat and equipped with a hybrid electric propulsion system. The presentation press conference held at the Volvo Penta test center located in Krossholmen, a short distance from Gothenburg, was followed by a sea trial worthy of the name in perfect Northern European style with plenty of wind and short waves. The real innovation lies in the engine room where the two traditional D4-320 thrusters, with Aquamatic Sterndrive transmissions, have been coupled with as many electric motors of 30kW each.

How Volvo Penta’s hybrid-electric engines work

Volvo Penta D4-320 Engines
Volvo Penta D4-320 Engines

There are eight MG batteries with a total of 67kW divided, for the occasion, into two units of four under the floor level and, in one compartment, near the main cabin, respectively. So far the theory. In practice this all translates into the possibility of choosing three modes of operation: Electric, Hybrid and Power. At discretion, the owner can select the most suitable one directly from the touchscreen quickly and intuitively. And so we go from full electric to hybrid navigation, which automatically takes over from the electric once 1500 rpm is reached, to the endothermic engines, to the traditional navigation provided by the diesel or HVO engines of the Power mode. In the latter we can appreciate the effect generated by the thrust of the electric motors totaling 90kW.

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