Electric boating for canal & narrow boats

Electric motors for canal boats and narrowboats

The advances in electric propulsion and batteries mean powerful electric motors for canal boats is now an option.

The ePropulsion I-Series electric inboard engines for river boats and narrowboats are available in 10, 20, 40kW models. The larger models are suitable for inland boats up to 50-60 feet. Smaller river boats can opt for the electric POD drives, which are easily fitted to the external hull.

Advantages of electric power for canal and narrowboat builders

Ideal for boatbuilders, the I-Series inboard motors are perfect for converting a narrow boat to electric power. These compact motors are fully integrated plug and play systems. They can be fitted into small spaces and connected direct to an existing drive shaft. The electric motor housing contains all the functional elements in a small space including:

  • motor
  • gearbox
  • motor controller
  • system control unit
  • cooling system

This reduces the complexity of the installation process, removing the need for connecting cables and separate systems, such as water cooling and exhaust.

ePropulsion manufacturer their own lithium ion batteries, smart displays and side or top mount throttle controllers. Rather than needing a variety of equipment suppliers, canal and narrow boat builders can rely on one source of supply and support.


Advantages of electric motors for canal boat owners

ePropulsion electric motors are highly reliable and will start at the press of a button. Unlike a diesel engine, there are few moving parts, cables, pipes, cooling systems or belt driven mechanics. This reduces servicing and maintenance to near zero, which in turn reduces costs for the canal boat owner.

Another cost reduction is reduced licence fees. For example, currently the Canal and River Trust give a 25% discount for canal and river licences for narrow boats and river boats with electric motors.

Electric canal boating is also better for the environment. So you can rest assured that your boat is cleaner and greener.

  • no toxic fuels can leak into the water
  • exhaust fumes going into the atmosphere
  • quiet – above and below the water.

The motors are virtually silent with barely any vibration. This makes your boating experience much quieter as you slip along the UK’s beautiful canals and inland waterways. And there’s less noise below the water to disturb marine life too.

Recharging a canal boat electric motor

ePropulsion’s electric motors can discharge and recharge simultaneously. Using solar panels to trickle charge the batteries is an effective way to keep your ePropulsion batteries topped up. All the ePropulsion batteries can be plugged into standard mains power. Charging times vary depending whether one charger or two in parallel are used. Increasingly, the marinas are also installing a number of charging points for boat owners and visitors to use.

See our products – electric motors for commercial boats

Find out more

Boat builders & commercial trade:

ePropulsion UK handle all major OEM and commercial marine enquiries. Please get in touch for an initial chat about your project.

Call Steve Bruce or Chris Rand on T: 023 8098 8782 or email us using the form opposite.

ePropulsion UK is part of The Special Boat Service Ltd
Unit 6, Mitchell Point
Ensign Way
SO31 4RF


Please email us with your name, enquiry and phone number: