Congratulations to the winners of the second Gustave Trouvé Awards for Excellence in Electric Boats and Boating – The Gussies.

This is the second year of The Gussies, and with 100 boats nominated – twice as many as the 2020 awards – it is a striking indication of how quickly interest in electric boats is growing around the world.

Another indication is that the 8 winners come from 8 different countries and the propulsion, energy generation and energy storage systems cover just about everything non-fossil fuel: batteries, solar panels, hydrogen fuel cells and wind powered sailboats with electric motors for auxiliary use.

A big Shout Out to all Nominees and Finalists

Kudos must also be extended to the other finalists and all of the nominated boats. The Gussies were created to promote sustainability and “recognize the inventors, designers, manufacturers, entrepreneurs and visionaries who are making advances every day to develop clean, quiet, zero emission technologies and designs to reduce reliance on fossil fuel for marine propulsion”.

Thank you to the International Panel

In 2020 The Gussies were decided through online voting (for reasons you can imagine in that crazy year) but that was augmented this with weighted ballots from a panel of representatives from nation electric boat associations and other related organizations.

All of these organizations actively promote electric boats and alternative non-fossil fuels and Plugboats encourages you to join them to enjoy the services and information they provide for members.

Thank you to:

Drumroll please….the 2021 Gussies Winners!

Electric Boats Up To 8 metres/26 ft
In Production division
e-Commuter, Cantiere (Boatyard) Ernesto Riva, Italy

The Cantiere Ernesto Riva was established in 1771 and this year celebrated the anniversary of two and a half centuries of wooden boat building in Italy’s lake district. Founder Ernesto’s great grandson Daniele Riva is now leading the celebrated boatbuilder into the 21st century with electric boats like the striking and beautifully crafted e-Commuter, which debuted at the Monaco Solar and Energy Boat Challenge in 2018.

In addition to the wooden runabout, their other electric offerings and projects include the Elettra, a classic Vaporini water limousine that transports guests of the Sereno Hotel on picnics and other luxe water outings on Italy’s famous Lake Como.

Electric Boats Up To 8 metres/26 ft
In Development division
Freepower Solar Boat, Bjurtech, Norway

The Freepower is the creation of Martin Bjurman, named after his goal of an autonomous boat with the “freedom to go whenever and wherever without fuel stops, with freedom to harvest the energy around us!”  He first started thinking about the project when he became a father in 2012 and his thoughts turned to what kind of world we want to leave for our children.

After developing and testing a prototype in 2019, Bjurman is now taking orders for delivery of the Freepower in summer of 2022 and interested e-boat and solar investors can take part in the future of the project through a crowdfunding campaign on

Electric Boats Over 8m/26 ft
In Production division
Silent 60, Silent Yachts, Austria

The founders of Silent-Yachts, Michael and Heike Köhler, are truly electric boat pioneers who researched the possibilities for non fossil fuel boats starting in 2004 and sailed for 5 years and 15,000 NM before building the world’s first fully self-sufficient and purely solar powered bluewater catamaran, Solarwave 46, in 2009. By 2018 their solar-powered SILENT 64 crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the power of the sun and Silent-Yachts now has a full range of zero emission ocean going cats.

The Silent 60 is the most popular model, and not just with Gussies voters. The company added a second production line in early 2021 to meet demand and now has the capacity to build 15 Silent 60s a year.

Electric Boats Over 8 metres/26 ft
In Development division
Aquon One, Swiss Sustainable Yachts, Switzerland

The Aquon One is the first Gustave Trouvé winner to incorporate hydrogen into its energy storage and propulsion system. Using electricity from the rooftop solar panels to produce hydrogen from desalinated sea water, the gas is compressed for storage, enabling the twin 100kW electric motors and living quarters of the 19.5m / 68ft catamaran to be powered by fuel cell and/or lithium-ion battery. The Aquon website has typical usage examples.

An intelligent energy management system monitors everything, including the smart home technologies and IoT-enabled devices throughout the 250 sqm (2,700 sq ft) of living space.

Electric Boats Designed for Paying Passengers
In Operation division
The Maid of the Mist, USA

There may be no better testament to the capabilities and reliability of electric propulsion than the new (launched October 2020) Maid of the Mist ferries which can carry up to 600 people right up to, and then pull away from, Niagara Falls and the suction power created by 600,000 gallons (2.25M litres) of water falling each second.

The twin motors can reach an output of 400kW, with an ABB Power and Energy Management System providing 316 kWh total storage capacity and the batteries being recharged after each trip with clean electricity generated by…Niagara Falls!

Electric Boats Designed for Paying Passengers
In Development division
Zero Emission Double Ended Ferry, Lamarca Engenharia, Brazil

Lamarcha Engenharia (Engineering) is a team of associated professionals in Brazil who have been working in the shipbuilding industry for over 40 years on everything from tankers to offshore platforms to navy ships, tugs passenger vessels and yachts.

This 38m / 125′ double ended ferry with electric motors and azimuth thrusters has been conceived to carry commuters in Florianópolis, Brazil. The boat will be made of materials fully recyclable at end-of-life and the design includes floating docking stations with solar panel roofing.

Customized / DIY Electric Boats
IRON, ecomarine, Bangladesh

The first project by ecomarine of Dhaka, Bangladesh, IRON is a 20.5m / 67 ft wood fibre composite solar catamaran custom built with 6 passengers cabins and used for tourism cruises of flooded river basins in an environmentally sensitive area of the country.

Fully powered by rooftop solar panels and battery bank, IRON has been designed with an innovative hull to be extremely energy efficient for a large clocking speeds of up to 12 kmh when using only one of her two 8kW electric motors.

Electric Sailboats
SunReef 60E, SunReef Yachts, Poland

It seems fitting that the Founder and CEO of SunReef Yachts, Francis Lapp, had a long and distinguished career in electric power and electrical manufacturing before turning in 2003 to the design and construction of large, customized, luxury multihulls. SunReef is now one of the global leading brands in both power and sail catamarans.

Electric propulsion became a big part of SunReef’s portfolio with the unveiling of its Eco models and the SunReef 60 E during the 2019 Cannes Yachting Festival.

The 60 E features twin 75 kW engines and 80kWh battery banks along with an all-carbon fibre bimini with in-built curved solar panels that generates 4.5 kW of electricity. Carbon fibre is also used for the mast and boom.

The 2021 Gussies has been a great success, and the International Panel is already discussing ways to make it even bigger and better for 2022, which will be the 120th anniversary of the death of Gustave Trouvé, inventor of the world’s first electric bicycle and the outboard boat motor.

Exciting things are happening every day in electric boats and boating.
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