Torqeedo system is obscenely expensive. Between the 2 types of hybrid systems, the serial
system is much more expensive than a parallel
system to manufacture. The parallel system that Isara yachts offers for example is a low priced option (in the area of $20,000 U.S.) when compared to the price of the boat with a diesel generator
(which the hybrid system eliminates the need for). So basically subtract the price (& weight) of a typical diesel generator
, add the price (& weight) of a 2 small electric motors added to regular diesel engines, plus controllers and a larger battery
You will see the same huge price differences in cars that use Serial
hybrid systems vs parallel:
Chevy Volt ($40k basic car) up to Tesla, Fisker Karma+ ($100k)
Toyota Prius ($20k basic car) + many luxury brands who offer a hybrid version for a few thousand over their normally aspirated models.
Because the Serial
systems use LARGE electric motors as the main propulsion with LARGE generators and LARGE battery
systems start with the normal drivetrains, then add small
electric motors with no
generators and a small
addition to the battery banks. The E motors end up being the generators. This system uses the KISS method (Keep It Simple Sailor).
In the end there are advantages and disadvantages between the 2 systems. For the price the parallel systems are a no brainer to me. On yachts, parallel systems have the advantage of adding additional propulsion options where as on serial systems, if the big electric motor
goes down, you better know how to sail in to your slip (the early Lagoon
hybrids were serial systems and some experienced being dead in the water). Mind you, controllers have come a long way since those early systems. Still, I like the fact that if my diesel dies I can still use the electric motor (or vice versa). On a catamaran
that means I have 4 propulsion methods + sails
(with a parallel system). That's redundancy on a stick my friends, and as a pilot I can appreciate that.
As far as the payback period, serial systems won't ever do it. Yet people buy them, right? Obviously it's more than just about payback. People aren't spending $100,000 on a Tesla automobile to save gas. They want style while being green. Sure, parallel systems will pay back in time, but let's face it, if I can afford a new Isara, then I can afford the gas, so why bother with a hybrid system. But what I love about sailing is the silent peace of it...just the wind in the waves, no other sound, ahhhh. Turn on the rattling diesels after that and it ruins it. With electric propulsion I can eliminate that in some instances, plus run air conditioning
with no diesel generator. Being green feels good and creates a better atmosphere. It adds to the cruising experience. Ask yourself sailors: doesn't it feel good to pass a trawler
while you are under full sail...silently passing them as their diesel engine(s) roar and spew out black smoke as they drain their gas tanks
? A hybrid system gives you that same feeling in many other situations.
Mathematically, I've read many newspaper articles about hybrid cars and the payback on gas savings vs the cost of the hybrid system. What seems to be missing from those equations is that the hybrid option adds to resale value (just like the leather seats, nav system and other options). Yet that isn't taken into consideration. Back when gas prices really soared I saw used hybrid cars selling for almost the same as new ones because they couldn't make enough new ones to keep up. But even in normal markets the hybrid option pays back very well at resale time compared to your leather seats. Eventually yachts will see the same solid payback as systems prove to be reliable as they have in cars.
Hybrids are not for everyone and I respect that. If you prefer typical diesel or gas systems, that's your choice. Respect Mon!