Electric & Hybrid expo showcases technology of the future January 27, 2016
Electric and hybrid technology is not just a fad, it’s here to stay.
That was the key message in MIASF Executive Director Phil Purcell’s keynote speech at the Electric and Hybrid Marine World Expo this month at the Broward County Convention Center.
Hybrid and electric propulsion is a viable alternative to traditional means of propulsion, Purcell said, but infrastructure will need to change to support alternative energy on a larger scale. He urged businesses to think about how to put their footprint in this region. Port Everglades led the country in yacht exports last year, he noted, and the area is ideally situated for electric and hybrid marine businesses to benefit.
Purcell said electric and hybrid propulsion is an environmentally responsible avenue, as boaters care about keeping our oceans healthy benefits the marine industry, but it’s also vital because 71% of the earth is covered in water.
Technology continues to move quickly, he said, and electric is a viable option that should bring great opportunity to the industry and users. We also have a leading oceanographic research hub here, whose research can further the use of alternative energies. One example is FAU, which is testing using marine turbines in the Gulfstream to generate electricity.
With innovations including Elon Musk’s lithium battery facility, it’s important for marine businesses to make changes so they stay relevant and prosper. Florida is after all the Sunshine State. “More people are using diesel electric, including the military and private enterprise vessels – it has a large space in our future,” Purcell said.
There’s also a huge repower market – think about how many 32-50-foot boats have been manufactured since 1973, he pointed out, with trawlers like 36’-42’ Grand Banks, sailboats like Beneteau and inboard power.
This was the first time the expo was held in the United States. “Exhibitors are lining up to participate at next year’s Tampa-based event,” said Graham Johnson, managing director of UKIP Media & Events Ltd, which produced the show. MIASF members who exhibited at the expo included Atlas Marine Systems, Ecoboats, Derecktor Florida and Orion Naval Engineering.
MIASF also would like to thank the volunteers who helped staff our booth – Richard Kniffin and Brittani Severn with United Ship Service, Doris McGee with Doris the Florist, Mia Prieto with BoatShowHotels.com, Irene Dupont with Regent Bank and Fred Mayer with Ocean LED.