June 18th, 2014

Elco powers first all-electric workboat in Erie Canal

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Press Office
June 17, 2014

Elco_NYS Canal Corp Repower5Albany, NY (June 17, 2014) – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of an all-electric dredge tender work boat on the Erie Canal in the Utica area. The project is the result of a partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). Additionally, the New York State Canal Corporation collaborated with Yorkville-based New West Technologies, LLC, in order to determine how best to transition the State’s work boat fleet to a cleaner propulsion system. The boat’s new electric motor was designed by Elco Motor Yachts, LLC, of Athens, New York.“By partnering with the private sector, New York State is transforming an 86-year old tug boat into a cleaner, greener and more modern zero-emission vehicle,” Governor Cuomo said. “Projects like this demonstrate our commitment to protecting the environment and show how this continued dedication is laying the groundwork for a clean energy economy of tomorrow.”The project makes use of a 1928 tug boat, now used as a dredge tender, for removing buoys and other canal work. Previously running off a 1980s-era diesel engine, the boat is now powered by a battery-powered all-electric powertrain system. The all-electric system eliminates exhaust emissions and the potential for fuel spills, while lowering maintenance costs and reducing noise. The result is a more environmentally- and economically-sustainable solution.

“This project is one example of our work to promote cleaner transportation resources,” said Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation Chairman Howard P. Milstein. “We have the great privilege and responsibility of maintaining one of our nation’s premier engineering marvels, and a large part of that responsibility is respecting the environment around the canal system. By utilizing green technologies, we will be able to reduce emissions and help make New York’s canal corridor cleaner and more beautiful.”“Environmental Stewardship is one of our primary responsibilities at the Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation,” said Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation Executive Director Thomas J. Madison. “We will continue working to incorporate greener technologies into our operations while encouraging New Yorkers to follow suit. This will not only allow us to help make New York a cleaner place, but also grow the green jobs industry through these types of public-private partnerships.”“We are proud to help lead the charge towards the development and use of electric vehicles in New York State,” said Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton. “With the help of our partners in the private sector, we will continue to find innovative ways of adapting our century-old infrastructure to provide cleaner and more efficient service to our customers and neighbors along New York’s Canal corridor.””This collaboration with Canal Corp. and NYSDOT supports Governor Cuomo’s call to increase the use of zero-emission vehicles in the transportation sector, which is one of the largest consumers of fossil fuel,” said NYSERDA President and Chief Executive Officer John B. Rhodes. “Encouraging the use of electric vehicles will not only provide environmental benefits but will stimulate economic activity as part of the State’s overall efforts to scale up the clean energy economy.”“This new electric boat will help reduce the carbon footprint of transportation in New York State, and the research associated with its use will help manufacturers refine and improve upon the existing technologies,” said NYSDOT Commissioner Joan McDonald.  “Governor Cuomo is leading the way in supporting the development of clean energy and is using that to improve our transportation system to support economic activity created by shipping and leisure travel on the New York State canal system.”The Canal Corporation partnered with New West Technologies, LLC (New West), an engineering consulting firm from Yorkville, NY, to evaluate and help determine a clean propulsion transition path for its work boat fleet.  The initial feasibility study completed through this partnership illustrated the lifecycle cost savings and considerable environmental improvements of the new power train in comparison to the Canal Corporation’s current fleet.

“New West Technologies is proud to partner with the New York State Canal Corporation to evaluate the electric boat’s performance and to help determine a clean propulsion transition path for its work boat fleet,” said Russell Owens, P.E. of New West Technologies. “The initial Phase 1 feasibility study validated the energy, economic, and environmental benefits of electric propulsion for Canal Corporation’s work boats. As we continue in the Phase 2 field demonstration, we look forward to continuing to work with Canal Corporation, Elco Motor Yachts, and our partners at the State to evaluate the tender’s operational and maintenance data to support the goal of transitioning the long-term sustainability of New York’s fleet.”

Additionally, New West will collect real-world data from both the all-electric boat and a standard diesel boat to analyze the real-world performance benefits for the Canal Corporation and other entities considering the use of all-electric or hybrid-electric marine powertrains.

The electric powertrain was developed and manufactured by Elco Motor Yachts, LLC (Elco), located in Athens, NY. Elco developed the system that tightly adapts two electric motors into a robust powertrain configuration that could be applied to the dredge tender. The electric powertrain is particularly impressive with its modular design. This design allows it to be easily configured for other dredge tender boats with more or less electric motor power and more or less battery capacity, as needed.

“Elco is proud to be a partner in this demonstration of electric propulsion on the historic Erie Canal,” said Elco President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Lamando. “Elco’s own history dates back to 1893 when its first electric boats shuttled more than one million passengers to and from the Chicago World’s Fair. Today, we are reinforcing our industry-leading position by propelling Tender 4 in an environmentally sustainable way using energy from New York’s electric grid. With Elco’s twin EP-10000 motors, the tender will now silently work with zero exhaust emissions and without contributing to water pollution. Elco electric propulsion systems also help save money in fuel and maintenance costs – a win for the Erie canal system waters, workers and taxpayers.”

“As the Erie Canal itself was started in the Greater Utica area, it is fitting that this groundbreaking initiative likewise has its start in Utica.  Like Nano Utica, this partnership of public and private industry to create technological advances positions this area, and New York State, to be a leader in the development of advanced technologies.  I applaud Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton and the other partners on this important announcement” said City of Utica Mayor Robert M. Palmieri.

“This is a great example of how, no matter how long something’s been done one way, there’s always an opportunity to do it a better way,” said Senator Joseph Griffo. “By converting this tug from diesel to electric, engineers are confident we’ll save money and reduce the amount of harmful emissions we put into our air. If this proves cost effective, I’d love to see more Canal equipment converted in the future. I thank the Canal Corporation, the DOT & and the private sector engineers that collaborated on this powertrain system and brought it here to the Erie Canal.”

“This project will serve as a very visible example of ways the state can significantly reduce the use of harmful emissions through the use of clean energy technology,” said Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi of Utica.  “The Mohawk Valley has long been a center of creativity and new technology, and it is good to see the Canal Corporation partnering with a Mohawk Valley company, New West Technologies, for this innovative demonstration project that will bring environmental and economic benefits to the state.”

“When government and the private sector work collectively with an eye on innovation there is no limit to the possibility,” said County Executive Anthony Picente. “The achievements this project makes possible will help drive the clean energy industry here in Oneida County.”

The funding for the development of the all-electric dredge tender was made possible through the Integrating Mobility Strategies for a Sustainable Multi-Modal Transportation Network Program Opportunity Notice, a partnership between NYSERDA and DOT, to demonstrate underutilized technologies and approaches that improve the energy efficiency and emissions production in New York’s transportation and freight delivery system.

With this latest initiative, New York’s role as a leader and first mover in shaping the future of energy remains firmly in place. By developing innovative market solutions, the State is delivering on Governor Cuomo’s commitment to transform the energy industry into a more resilient, clean, cost-effective and dynamic system. Working with State, citizen and industry-stakeholders, the way of doing business in New York is moving to a more market-based, decentralized approach. This transition means preserving the environment, decreasing energy costs, and creating economic growth opportunities for current and future generations of New Yorkers. In advancing these new energy systems and solutions, New Yorkers will have improved energy affordability and efficiency without sacrificing the ability to live in a cleaner, resilient and more sustainable environment.

Governor Cuomo has been a leader in advancing zero emission vehicles as one way to achieve energy diversity, reduce pollution and create jobs. Just last month, New York State was joined by seven other states to unveil a plan to dramatically increase the number of clean vehicles on our roads.  Under the Multi-State Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEV) Action Plan, the states set a goal to have 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles in the U.S. by 2025.

Tug Boat in the News.

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January 22nd, 2013

Elco Waterway: Adams Lake State Park

Elco’s waterway this week is Adam’s Lake State Park. Located in Ohio’s bluegrass region, its one of the state’s most scenic and biologically interesting areas. This lake lies in an area rich in natural diversity with many unique plants and animals. Why is it our waterway you ask? Aside from being a beautiful lake wedged between the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, this lake accommodates non-powered craft and those with electric motors only. 

Adam’s Lake is a 47-acre lake open to fishing, picnicking, and hiking. Nice catches of largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, channel catfish, bullhead, and carp are common. There are 4 picnic areas with tables and restrooms located through the park. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, division of parks and recreation operate Adam’s Lake State Park. Try out an eco-friendly Elco motor on Adam’s Lake of Ohio and enjoy.

For more information about Adam’s Lake, visit

January 16th, 2013

34′ 1941 Elco Cruisette: Repower

Something Old, Something New
Converting to Elco Electric Drive System
Work is underway at Hall’s Boat Company, Lake George, NY to restore this mid-sized cabin cruiser and replace its mammoth eight-cylinder Chrysler gasoline engine with an Elco EP-10000 (100 HP) Electric Drive. Technical staff from Elco are supporting the crew at Hall’s on the project. The Halls restoration crew has completely removed the interior, engine, fuel tanks, exhaust system and all other mechanical systems associated with the old gas engine to make way for the Elco motor and batteries.
The bilge was cleansed thoroughly of all grease, oil, antifreeze and gas residue and painted with a fresh, new finish – never to be oil-stained again! The vessel is getting all new wiring to ABYC standards while planning for the battery configuration is underway by Elco engineering support. 
Once finished, the vessel will have all modern systems operate totally on electric power including lighting, water heater, electronics, pumps, coffee maker and even a heater/air conditioner which will be added in the second phase of the project. The vessel is expected to easily travel the length of Lake George, up and back – 65 miles – with a full load of passengers on a single charge. 
Shore power for the charging system will be supplemented by a solar panel array on the cabin top. The solar panels will “top off” the batteries on days between use.
A Spring 2013 launch event is planned. Return to this website for updates on the project.
To learn more about which Elco Drive is correct for your conversion project click here.



December 22nd, 2012

Strictly Sail Pacific: April 11 thru 14, 2013

Jack London Square, Oakland, California

Elco Motor Yachts has been producing Electric Propulsion for 120 years, visit with us in Oakland to see the most advanced in-board Electric Propulsion system on the Market. 

When it comes to sailing, Strictly Sail Pacific is the place to be for the best selection of boats, the latest products, the coolest gear, and FUN activities for all the family. There is so much to do and see, so be sure to plan your time to take full advantage of all the exciting opportunities, including hundreds of free seminars, on-the-water activities, parties, live music, and much more.

May 5th, 2012
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Open House – Shop Talk

Lake George, New York – Hall’s Boat Corporation is hosting an Open House on Saturday, May 12 from 11-1PM.

Join Mr. Joe Fleming, one of the founders of ACBS, past owner of Elco Electric Launch and now design engineer at Elco Motor Yachts for the new modern Elco motors. Joe will discuss the history of Elco and will have on display the new AC motors sold by Elco today.

On the shop floor with restoration nearly complete is Wenona, the famed 1899 Elco Electric launch. Attendees will be able to view her original electric motor, as well as many old photos and information about this historic boat.

Wenona was built in 1899 and delivered to the F.R. Smith yard on Lake George where she was used to demonstrate the qualities of electric boats. In 1903 she was purchased by Bishop Stires, who owned a camp at Shelving Rock and who was a prominent figure in New York as well as on the lake.

Wenona became a Lake George icon in the 20the century, as the favorite boat of the popular bishop and his family.

Participating in the open shop will be members of the Hall’s restoration team that made her re-birth possible.

Hall’s will also have on display a variety of classic boats currently in their improved boat shop for restoration and repair.

April 18th, 2012

More Mojo in Miami

Great article on the Miami International Boat show from Soundings Trade Only, “the Daily news for Marine Industry Professionals”.

 Elco Motor Yachts, the Athens, N.Y., electric motor manufacturer, showcased its EP4000 AC on the Hunter e36 Hybrid sailboat. “There’s no smoke, no noise, no vibration,” Elco senior vice president Kevin Kearns says. The AC motor is 93 percent efficient, compared with 45 percent for most diesel engines and 25 percent for 2-stroke gasoline engines, he says. Kearns says that at $8,500, the cost is comparable to a diesel system. The lithium batteries last six to eight years, and the motor, which is sealed and has just one moving part, requires servicing once every 50,000 hours to repack the thrust bearing, he says. “Range is 46nm at 5 knots on batteriesonly” and “A range of 812nm at 5 knots using batteries and generator as a hybrid with 50 gal of fuel. Operating cost is about 8 cents a nautical mile. The 12-volt batteries are rechargeable from shore power, solar panels, a wind turbine or a 14-kW generator. “You can get to hull speed instantly with a generator running and dead batteries,” he says.

Read the article in it’s entirety


April 15th, 2012
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Portland Boatbuilders Show

by Eugene Story

ELCO, Maine Electric Boats and the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard participated together at the Maine Boatbuilders show this year. The Boat Builders Show is a very special show in that it brings together boatbuilders, those that professionally maintain boats and serious boaters. There are very few at the show who do not have a serious interest in boating.

Although ELCO had a booth at last years show, having a boat with an Elco motor installed certainly attracted more people. The show attracts many Mainers but there are also many attendees from Nova Scotia,  Massachusettes, and New Hampshire and others from afar. It is a time of serious boat talk between boaters and builders.

The attraction this year was the Electric Downeaster.  The Downeaster lobster boat of Maine is looked on by boaters as one of the most seaworthy boat designs in existence having evolved over many years of lobster fishing on the coast. While the latest versions have mostly followed the trend to large high powered diesel engines for maximum speed, this has been at the expense of high fuel costs and pollution of water, air, and sound. There is a growing interest is zero emission boats that operate silently at hull speed at a fraction of the horsepower and without pollution.

Maine Electric Boats, the ELCO dealer for Maine, and the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard, in searching for a classic lobster boat hull to demonstrate a downeaster hull with electric propulsion  found a 50 year old wooden lobster boat in Boothbay Harbor Maine built for a smaller hull speed engine. We installed the engine last fall and ran trials. The boat performed well reaching hull speed (6.5 knots) with a 20HP ELCO motor. Although the boat has not had its final finish there was a steady stream of visitors over the 3 days of the show and a real interest in electric propulsion. There were also many sailboaters who are looking to repower with an electric motor.

It is still an educational process for most boat builders and boaters and seeing an ELCO motor in a classic lobster boat has given them a good boost. It is those pursuing classic boat building and restoration who will be the leaders.y


January 18th, 2012

Miami International Boat Show

Business in Motion:

More than 2,300 of the world’s leading marine industry manufacturers will display the newest powerboats, engines and accessories on more than 2.5 million square feet of exhibition space.

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October 19th, 2011


IBEX is a professional-only trade show specifically designed for those engaged in the industry. MAATS has consolidated with IBEX and now forms the Aftermarket Pavilion at IBEX. Read More


October 10th, 2011

United States Sailboat Show

The world’s largest show featuring exclusively new sailboats!
Read More