Depending on the electric motor model, frequency of usage, brand, and maintenance, it will have a life expectancy of five to fifteen years.
Like combustion engines, electric motors come in different sizes and power levels. So, electric motors on the market are sold with different designs and batteries. These factors affect the motor’s life expectancy.
Getting an electric motor is good since it provides perks that combustion engines do not offer. Yet, checking these types of motor life expectancy is the right way to go before buying.
Here is everything that this article is going to cover:
⌛ How Long Do Electric Boat Motors Last?
First, I should point out that you have three main electric propulsion systems available: a trolling motor, an outboard motor, and an inboard motor.
Today we will only be looking at the first two:
Electric trolling motor. This motor can be mounted on the stern, bow, or the boat’s primary engine. A trolling motor is an alternate power source for low-speed (rarely exceeding four miles per hour) cruising or ‘trolling.’ Small fishing boats use trolling motors to creep on the water.
Electric outboard motor. Electric outboards are mounted on the boat’s stern and have more horsepower than a trolling motor. This motor is the primary power source for various vessels (dinghies, inflatables, and sailboats).
I will discuss the life expectancy of both motor types in this article. However, I can already tell you that electric outboard motor batteries have a greater life expectancy than electric trolling motor batteries.
This is because of the type of battery used. But it’s not to say that electric trolling motors do not have a long life expectancy.
🎣 Life Expectancy Of Electric Trolling Motors
I cannot stress enough that the better you take care of your motor, the longer it will last. This is especially relevant with electric motors that use batteries.
Owners who care for their electric motors will see them last much longer than owners who neglect them.
Generally, a trolling motor should last you at least five years if maintained properly, but the life expectancy can double or even triple if you take excellent care of it.
Electric trolling motors come in three voltage grades, with higher voltage motors having more thrusts:
- 12v. Uses one dedicated battery.
- 24v. Uses two batteries.
- 36v. Uses three batteries.
The motor’s life expectancy does not vary significantly between the three voltage grades.
Trolling motors with a higher voltage tend to be more efficient. However, remember that maintenance is a significant factor in determining how long an engine lasts.
Doing the following things will help extend the life of a trolling motor’s essential electronic parts:
1️⃣ Unplug the battery from the motor before charging.
2️⃣ Ensure battery connections are tightened.
3️⃣ Use fully charged batteries.
4️⃣ Clean the battery and motor to avoid corrosion.
5️⃣ Get a trolling motor with high-quality wiring.
Trolling Motor Batteries Need Replacement After 2 Or 3 Years
The most common battery used for electric trolling motors is lead-acid batteries. However, a trolling motor can last many years with some good maintenance here and there.
However, a trolling motor battery will need to be replaced after just a few years of use, as it suffers a significant drop in runtime and power output.
If you intend to keep your trolling motor for ten years, you will likely need to replace some electronic components due to natural wear and tear.
Best Electric Trolling Motor Brands On The Market
There are plenty of trolling motors to choose from, but some brands produce much higher quality and more durable motors than others.
Here are a few brands you should consider getting your trolling motor from based on durability and overall performance:
🏆 Minn Kota
🏆 Motor Guide
🏆 Newport Vessels
🚤 Life Expectancy Of Electric Outboard Motors
An Electric outboard engine can produce significantly more power than trolling motors, yet they can also last many years. Therefore, you should expect an electric outboard motor’s battery to last at least a decade (or several thousands of hours).
However, the most common electric boat motors you will find are electric outboard motors, which typically range from one to eighty horsepower. Those who seek to cruise at superior speeds can find electric outboard motors that are closer to two hundred horsepower.
The amount of horsepower an engine has is not a significant determining factor in its longevity. Rather factors like the battery composition, motor brand, and care and maintenance regulate how many years the motor will last.
Electric Outboard Motor Batteries Last Very Long
Unlike most electric trolling motors, electric outboard motors are usually powered by lithium batteries.
Lithium batteries are of higher quality and have a much longer life span than lead-acid batteries. Renowned electric car manufacturers like Tesla use lithium batteries because of these perks.
Lithium batteries can be used for several thousand hours before needing replacement. This translates to ten to fifteen years, depending on how often the motor is used.
🔋 Which Brands Have The Longest-Lasting Electric Boat Motors?
Several brands have a good reputation regarding high quality and long-lasting electric outboard motors.
The following boat motor brands try to cater to an array of clients while maintaining a high standard of quality:
ePropulsion is known to make great products. Its low-power motors, like the Spirit 1.0 (three horsepower), have a good life expectancy and use power efficiently. ePropulsion’s more powerful motors, like the Navy 6.0 Evo (ten horsepower), are also long-lasting.
ePropulsion vs Torqeedo | Which is better?
Elco electric boat motors have the reputation of being some of the best you can find. The Elco EP-20 (twenty horsepower) is one of the most popular models.
Elco vs Torqeedo
This brand is one of the pioneers of electric motor boards and, to this day, produces high-quality electric outboard motors. For example, the Torqeedo Cruise is designed to have a long service life exposed to harsh weather conditions.
❓ Other FAQs
How Long Does The Battery Last On An Electric Boat Motor?
How long an electric boat motor battery lasts depends on its composition. Lead-acid batteries, generally found in less powerful motors (like trolling motors), will not last longer than three years.
After three years, if the battery is still alive, the performance (power and runtime) will be significantly worse than previously.
Lithium batteries, used for bigger electric motors like outboard motors, can last several thousands of hours (or ten to fifteen years) before needing to be replaced.
Are Electric Boat Motors Reliable?
Electric boat motors from reputable brands, like ePropulsion, Elco, and Torqeedo, are incredibly reliable.
A good electric boat motor that is properly sealed will protect the battery from corrosion and harsh elements that would otherwise damage the battery and affect its performance.
Electric boat motors also require less maintenance and general care than gasoline motors. In addition, some are equipped with fail-safe features that ensure long service life.
What Is The Range Of An Electric Boat Motor?
How far your electric boat motor can take you will likely determine whether you want to buy it.
Essentially, how far or how long you will cruise on the water depends on how much of the motor’s power you use. For example, you will cruise longer if you use half of the motor’s power versus full force.
Depending on the electric motor model and power usage during a session, the battery can last anywhere from one to eight hours.
🔑 Key Takeaways
Electric boat motors come in various shapes and sizes. Here are the key takeaways about how long electric boat motor’s last:
1️⃣ The smaller trolling motors that use lead-acid batteries can last five to fifteen years, though the batteries need replacement after three years.
2️⃣ Bigger and more powerful motors that use lithium batteries, like electric outboard motors, are durable and should last at least a decade.
Lithium batteries only need to be changed after several thousands of hours of use. This type of battery opens up the potential of solar to your boat. I recommend reading how much solar is needed to unleash your boat’s hidden potential.
And for a thorough breakdown, this electric boat motors buyers guide will lay out everything you need to know about going electric on the water.