eD-TEC to show pioneering eD-QDrive scalable electric drive system at METS 2022
eD-TEC to show pioneering eD-QDrive at METS 2022
Electric propulsion specialists eD-TEC – the company founded by former VW Group Chief Strategy Officer Michael Jost – will be showing its pioneering eD-QDrive propulsion system at Metstrade from 15 to 17 November at the RAI Amsterdam. With an interactive display giving an immersive visitor experience, this will be the first opportunity to see the entire eD-QDrive system in a mock-up installation from prop to helm.
The eD-QDrive is an electric drivetrain designed to cater to the needs of the boatbuilding industry as the move toward fully electric boating grows ever closer. The drivetrain comprises a complete system, from surface drive unit mounted through the transom to the battery system, AI controller and helm interface. Jost has brought all his automotive experience to bear in developing the system, which instigates a completely new ethos for e-drive installations. The eD-TEC team comprises specialists from around the world (The “Believer Team”), with the family power of Michael, Mike & Marc Jost backed up by technology partners Leigh Michau (Q-SPD), Malan Conradie (Hysucat), Stefan Fink (IEMTEC), and Thomas Scholz and Stefan Krahn from Baumüller.
“There are five pillars to achieving success with going full electric,” Jost explains. “First is the miracle of the sea and the reduction of drag, because if you lose the drag you gain the range. Second is having a 360-degree system stack, which I call the Backbone – you can’t just add component after component and believe it’s a system, you have to develop that complete system, just like the automotive industry does. Third, it has to be modular and scalable, and our solution is scalable from 50 to 2,400kW. The fourth pillar is to be better every year, which we achieve through cloud connectivity and data gathering from the vessel on the water. The fifth pillar is to deliver – and we will be delivering soon with our first boat.”
How the Platform works
The first eD-QDrive – which will make its debut in an 8.6 metre RIB with a range of 70 nautical miles at 30 knots, due to launch before the end of the year – offers 100kW continuous power which can be boosted to 200kW for a limited time thanks to a high performance, high C-rate battery bank scalable from 80 to 320kWh. The scalability includes the development of drive units capable of delivering up to 600kW each, which would enable 2,400kW combined on a quad drive installation – suitable for powering yachts up to 30 metres in length – and the system also offers the option of a conventional generator to serve as a range extender.
The drives are mounted through the transom and, thanks to a quick-mount frame, can be easily and quickly removed and installed. The forward end of the unit offers a power-in socket, two 24V sockets for trim tabs and foil actuators and two CAN bus connectors, making the eD-QDrive instant plug-and-play. All other components – the motor, cooling seawater inlet and outlet, motor controller, high-torque gearbox, and humidity, vibration and temperature sensors – are integrated into the drive unit meaning there are no additional components to mount and no through-hull fittings to be added or drilled, resulting in convenience, speed of installation and ease of use for any shipyard or operator.
The AI BOX serves as the brain of the backbone, and not only controls and optimises the drivetrain itself but also can manage the entire 24V and digital switching system on the boat. This means complete integration, which extends to the autopilot and helm electronics. Further, the AI unit will allow for continual cloud-based remote monitoring of the system, which enables predictive maintenance, OTA software updates for continual performance enhancements, and automatic remote support and parts supply.
Next stop - future
“The nautical industry cannot stay in the combustion era,” says Jost. “But the problem currently is that range is limited with electric-drive boats unless you cruise quite slowly. We have developed our system in tandem with the truth that unlike cars – where if you double your speed, you quadruple your drag – if your boat has a stepped hull or foils, once you are planing or flying your drag actually drops considerably. Our philosophy is go faster to go further.
“Our eD-QDrive is like magic, because everything is integrated and everything is simple, which makes installation, maintenance and overhauling simple for boatbuilders,” Jost continues. “The plug-and-play methodology also means that even if a marina or a boatyard doesn’t have a high-power specialist engineer, there are a lot of good engineers who can change our units thanks to the easy plug-and-play interface. The time is right in boatbuilding for next-generation, high-end technology, because it means we can start to move from the combustion world into the electrical world.”
The eD-QDrive is available now for boatbuilders and for other interested parties (for example, custom tender builders), with pricing available on application.