DETROIT:General Motors is testing the waters in electric boating by purchasing a 25 percent stake in a Seattle company that makes battery-powered outboard motors.
The Detroit automaker announced Monday that it had bought its stake in Pure Watercraft for a company it says will develop and commercialize battery-electric watercraft.
Pure Watercraft, founded in 2011, is worth $ 600 million after the GM deal, said spokesman Gabe Johnson. GM said its investment was valued at $ 150 million, including cash and in-kind contributions. The companies don’t reveal how much money GM is putting into the deal.
Privately owned Pure Watercraft manufactures an electric outboard propulsion system powered by a lithium-ion battery. It is designed as a drop-in replacement for any boat with a 25-50 horsepower gas outboard motor. The company also works with boat builders to sell complete boats, according to its website.
The two companies will combine Pure Watercraft’s marine experience with GM’s engineering, supply chain and manufacturing capabilities, the automaker said in a prepared statement.
“This joint effort with GM will allow us to make significant technological advances in range and charge while achieving volume production,” said Andy Rebele, Founder and CEO of Pure Watercraft.
The deal gives GM the opportunity to leverage its electrical technology in an industry other than automotive, said Dan Nicholson, vice president of global electrification. “The combined expertise of these two companies should lead to future zero-emission marine products,” said Nicholson.
GM is already working on electrification and hydrogen-powered vehicles in the rail, truck, and aerospace industries.
GM’s shares rose 2.8% in midday trading Monday to $ 63.51.