Yamaha Executives Promote Hybrid Solution of Electrification and Biofuels, Ask for Improved E15 Labeling During 2022 American Boating Congress
Yamaha U.S. Marine Business Unit executives joined 225 representatives from the boating and fishing industries in Washington D.C. for the 2022 American Boating Congress (ABC), May 11-13. During the three-day event, Yamaha leaders conducted 70 meetings on Capitol Hill educating legislators about the challenges of electrification in boating, the need to support research and approval of biofuels, and requesting improved labeling for E15 fuel through the Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act (H.R. 7731). They also advocated for the passage of the PREPARE Act (H.R. 3207/S.1621), which would allow small businesses the ability to prepare for natural disasters by investing in disaster-resilient infrastructure.
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"Yamaha and the marine industry have a responsibility to conserve air, land and water resources for the future, which will mean achieving carbon neutrality with our products. Electric power is not a complete solution to reach carbon neutrality for several reasons, but the primary issue is the energy density gap between batteries and gasoline," said Martin Peters, Division Manager, Marine External Affairs, Yamaha U.S. Marine Business Unit. "A one-size-fits all solution will not succeed. The marine industry's mid-term future will include more second and third-generation biofuels, which will require research, development and swift regulatory support for approval, transport and distribution. The marine industry neds to partner with the government for support on regulatory approvals as we strive for a carbon neutral future."
Many transportation companies plan to reach carbon neutrality through electric products. In 2021, Yamaha Marine introduced HARMO®, a clean, quiet, environmentally friendly electric boat control system that serves as the foundation for future electric-powered products from Yamaha. Though a good solution for specific applications in small, light-weight vessels, Yamaha executives suggested HARMO is not appropriate for higher horsepower outboard applications.
"The issue is the energy density gap between batteries and gasoline. Batteries are heavier, require more energy and cost more to power a boat. Gasoline has dramatically more energy per unit than any type of battery available which creates the gap between the two energy sources," continued Peters. "Because of the energy density gap, internal combustion will play a big role in the future of boating. Gasoline, of course, is currently the primary power source for marine internal combustion applications, but we will need to explore fuels that are themselves carbon neutral."
During the ABC, the marine industry continued to educate legislators about the damages and corrosion ethanol fuel (E15) can cause in marine engine systems, and the need for better labeling at the gas pump. As an alternative, the industry presented butanol blends, specifically biobutanol, as a better solution for recreational marine engines and boats, causing less system damage while emitting even less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Yamaha, along with other marine industry organizations, also suggested a hybrid solution as the most efficient method to reach the goal of carbon neutrality; a combination of electrification, second and third-generation biofuels and other alternatives, such as hydrogen.
In addition, Yamaha and marine industry representatives advocated strongly for the passage of the PREPARE Act, which will allow the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make low interest, fixed rate loans of up to $500,000 to small businesses. These loans will give small businesses, which comprise roughly 84 percent of the U.S. marine industry, the ability to prepare for and survive future disasters, without closing their doors permanently.
For more information about Yamaha's message during the 2022 ABC, click here.
Yamaha's U.S. Marine Business Unit, based in Kennesaw, Ga., is responsible for the sales, marketing, and distribution of Yamaha Marine products in the U.S. including Yamaha Outboards, Yamaha WaveRunners®, Yamaha Boats, G3 Boats and Skeeter Boats. Supporting 2,400 dealers and boat builders nationwide, Yamaha is an industry leader in reliability, performance, technology and customer service.
REMEMBER to always observe all applicable boating laws. Never drink and drive. Dress properly with a USCG-approved personal floatation device and protective gear.
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