Basic Motors, which has billed itself as “all in on electrification” this yr, has acquired a 25% stake in Pure Watercraft, a Seattle start-up that makes electrical outboard motors for boats, the businesses instructed CNBC.
Pure Watercraft motors use lithium ion batteries and substitute 40- to 50-horsepower outboard motors that burn fuel or diesel. Conventional fuel-powered boats contribute to environmental issues together with noise air pollution, smog, and water air pollution that’s plainly seen floating on the water of their wake. Pure’s programs are a lot quieter and cleaner.
For Pure Watercraft CEO Andy Rebele, a lifelong fishing and boating fanatic and former rowing coach, a private drive to resolve these issues lined up with an enormous market alternative.
In keeping with the Nationwide Marine Producer’s Affiliation (NMMA) outboard engine gross sales within the U.S. reached a file stage throughout 2020, growing for the ninth consecutive yr, to an estimated $3.4 billion.
“The boating market is rising prefer it hasn’t since post-World Warfare II,” says Rebele. “In the course of the pandemic, individuals wished to do issues with their households, with their pods. Going out on the water is among the supreme issues to do.”
That rising market is on GM’s radar as nicely. CEO Mary Barra hinted at GM’s curiosity in electrical marine transportation in a blog post in October, discussing the corporate’s Ultium battery and Hydrotec gas cell platforms.
This pontoon is powered by a Pure Watercraft absolutely electrical outboard motor.
Courtesy: Pure Watercraft
In keeping with Rebele, the take care of GM is price $150 million mixed, together with payment-in-kind commitments and capital invested by the autos big. The corporate isn’t disclosing the cut up between money and payment-in-kind.
With its funding, GM will change into a provider of elements to Pure Watercraft, a co-developer of latest merchandise, and can present engineering, design and manufacturing experience to assist the start-up set up new factories, the businesses instructed CNBC.
Its new partnership with GM ought to assist the start-up navigate provide chain points as Pure Watercraft grows, Rebele stated.
For GM, the funding in Pure Watercraft is one other in a collection of strikes to increase its battery and gas cell programs exterior of automotive. Earlier this yr, GM introduced plans to develop and commercialize electrical locomotives with Wabtec. It additionally has proven curiosity in utilizing its batteries and gas cells for aerospace and army functions.
Pure Watercraft’s post-money valuation stands at $600 million. The 55-employee start-up had beforehand raised $37 million in enterprise funding.
— CNBC’s Mike Wayland contributed to this report.