The Detroit automaker is forging ahead with plans to build electric boats, trains, and planes.
General Motors is getting into the electric boat business. In fact, as the American auto giant pushes President Joe Biden’s splashy and ambitious plan to accelerate the rollout of electric cars, GM has also been working somewhat quietly on a quest to build electric planes, trains, and delivery trucks — all powered by its own battery and hydrogen fuel cell technologies.
Of the wide range of electric vehicles in the works at GM, you might actually get the chance to drive or ride in one of the new electric boats. The company recently announced that it bought a 25 percent stake in Pure Watercraft, a Seattle-based startup that makes battery-powered outboard motors for boats. As part of the agreement, GM will provide Pure Watercraft with components at the same discounted rate as its internal divisions and help Pure Watercraft build out its manufacturing network. After GM’s investment, which amounts to $150 million in cash and in-kind investment, Pure Watercraft is valued at $600 million.
The companies haven’t shared what specific products they’ll work on together, but the team developing GM’s Forward Marine First, an electric pontoon boat the company first debuted at the Miami International Boat Show in 2019, will join the collaboration.
“Boating has historically benefited from advances in automotive technologies,” Andy Rebele, the CEO of Pure Watercraft, told Recode. “They’ve been using automotive engines and automotive tech in boats for many, many years, and this is the embodiment of that happening in the age of electric vehicles.”
GM’s dive into the electric boating industry is a sign that the company is serious about its “all-electric future.” That commitment includes investing at least $35 billion to release 30 EV...