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London – November 28, 2023 – Phase Two of the $700B electric vehicle boom—the electric boat rush—is becoming just as crowded as its four-wheeled predecessor, with so many start-ups dotting this landscape it’s dizzying. Mentioned in today’s commentary includes: Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), Stellantis N.V. (NYSE: STLA), NIO Inc. (NYSE: NIO), Blue Bird Corporation (NASDAQ: BLBD), Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE: TM).
Loads of debt, problems getting into production, far-off delivery dates that make revenues a thing of the distant future—if at all—and failures-to-deliver all make this a minefield for investors.
Vision Marine Technologies (VMAR) has a first-mover advantage here, the best electric boat motor system on the market and a solid manufacturing and distribution strategy that recognizes the decentralized nature of this emerging market.
Not only has Vision Marine partnered with the top boat manufacturers and distributors in the industry, but it has also just delivered their first proprietary E-Motion Electric powertrains to Groupe Beneteau Four Winns.
On November 13 the company announced that it received an initial purchase order from Wired Pontoons for 25 units of their E-Motion 180E outboard and power train system. Wired’s President stated “We are excited to collaborate with Vision Marine, starting with an order of 25 E-Motion systems. Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen a decline in the demand for Internal Combustion Engine pontoons, with our customers increasingly seeking eco-friendly alternatives. After evaluating various options, we found the E-Motion system to be the ideal fit for our clientele.”
Finally, Concrete Action on the Electric Boat Motor Scene
Vision Marine’s partnership with Groupe Beneteau is game-changing for a small company in this fast-emerging space. Groupe Beneteau has been building boats and transforming the boating experience since the late 1800s. It has built a billion-dollar global boat brand house.
Employing 8,000 people in France, the U.S., Poland, Italy, and Portugal, Groupe Beneteau is a global market leader with nine brands in its boat divisions and more than 150 recreational boat models, from sailboats and motorboats to monohulls and catamarans.
On October 4th, Vision Marine announced that it had delivered, as promised, its first E-Motion Electric Powertrain Technology to Groupe Beneteau, Four Winns at their production facility in Michigan. VMAR’s Power Trains will be the inaugural electrical motors integrated on the Four Winns H2e Bowrider.
Thanks to Vision Marine, Four Winns’ H2e Bowrider is the world’s most powerful outboard electric powertrain, with a 180E electric outboard engine delivering high peak power with rapid acceleration and top speed of approximately 35 knots (40mph). It’s also the first, all-electric, series production bowrider on the market.
The H2e Bowriders, newly equipped with Vision Marine E-Motion motors, will embark on a voyage to Europe where they will first be showcased at the Dusseldorf boat show in late January, where their presentation is set to “underscore the dawn of a new era in eco-friendly marine transport”.
How VMAR’s E-Motion Is Defining This Space
The E-Motion powertrain technology is the fastest electric speedboat in its class on the market. Not only is it the first fully electric, production-ready recreational boat in its class on the market, but it’s also a high-performance machine with 180 horsepower. It’s turn-key, disruptive and powered by Vision Marine’s proprietary E Motion battery and software.
Capable of fully charging overnight on 120v-20A or 240v 50A shore power, no supercharger needed , the E-Motion battery also has another clear advantage: It’s cheaper than its competitors.
Vision Marine has an entirely different strategy that focuses on one key fact: Boatbuilding is a decentralized affair. A builder typically buys the outboard motor from one supplier, the throttle from another, and the gauges and console systems from a third.
Having established back-to-back world speed records in electric boating, VMAR’s E-Motion Electric Powertrain should top the list for any builders looking for a best-in-class electric motor.
The Small-Cap Market Opportunity Amid Historical Disconnect
The electric boats and ship market size is expected to witness rapid growth over the next six years, with revenues set to hit nearly $11 billion, driven by environmental concerns and technological advancements, according to Fairfield Market Research.
Electric boat start-ups have raised a lot of capital over the past six months, suggesting growing interest in the market:
- Sweden’s Candela electric boat-maker raised some $20 million this spring
- Sweden’s X Shore raised around $28.5 million in the same period
- Florida-based Blue Innovations Group, an electric boat start-up founded by former Tesla manufacturing chief John Vo, started accepting reservations in March
- Rhode Island-based Flux Marine electric outboard motor manufacturer raised $15.5 million in 2022
- Middle East-based Crow Electric Ships and Boats latest investment valued it at $55 million in July; and
- In September, LA-based EV boat start-up ARC raised $70 million Series B.
But finding the opportunity amid this disconnect is even better when it’s a small or micro-cap that is defining a specific industry niche, such as the electric boat startup segment. And in this particular segment, Vision Marine (VMAR) is a clear leader, with Fairfield Market Research highlighting VMAR as one of the key players in the $11-billion revenue push.
This could be why Roth Capital recently initiated coverage of Vision Marine, with a C$6 share price.
“We believe Vision is working with multiple other boat OEMs and expect additional purchase orders and supplier agreements to lift visibility,” Roth said in June. “Further news around this area should serve as a positive valuation catalyst.”
Roth expects Vision Marine’s E-Motion to “drive impressive growth supplementing momentum in existing operations”, including its electric boat rental segment, whose flagship Newport operation took in $4 million in revenue in 2022 at 35% margin, with more locations on the way, plus a major franchise scale-up.
The Electric Boom is in Full Swing
Tesla’s (TSLA) Model Y emerged as the best-selling vehicle worldwide in the first quarter of 2023 and the company’s stock price has performed well through the year. Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, recently hinted at exciting developments on the horizon for the company. While he did not unveil specific new products during the annual shareholder meeting, Musk confirmed that two exciting projects are in the pipeline, generating anticipation among investors and enthusiasts alike.
Stellantis N.V. (STLA) is an automotive conglomerate that was formed in 2021 by the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group. This multinational corporation, which operates 14 different brands, including Jeep, Peugeot, and Maserati, is committed to the development of electric vehicles and has announced that it aims to invest over €30 billion through 2025 in electrification and software development.
Nio Inc (NIO) has emerged as a prominent player in the EV sector. The Chinese-based automaker has carved a niche for itself in the premium electric vehicle market, with a strong lineup of SUVs and the ET7 luxury sedan. The company’s innovative “Battery as a Service” model and battery swap technology have helped to distinguish Nio from its competitors. Nio’s business model is about more than just selling cars. It’s focused on providing a lifestyle brand to its users, including Nio Houses that serve as showrooms, lounges, and gathering places for Nio users.
BlueBird (BLBD) is a leading designer and manufacturer of school buses. The company’s portfolio includes both conventional combustion engine buses and a growing lineup of electric models. BlueBird’s emphasis on producing zero-emission vehicles is a significant part of its growth strategy. The company’s electric buses, with their lower total cost of ownership, are appealing to school districts looking to cut operational costs and reduce their environmental impact.
Toyota Motor Corporation (TM) is the world’s largest automaker in terms of production volume. While Toyota was an early adopter of hybrid technology with the Prius, it has been slower than some competitors to fully embrace electric vehicles. However, the company has announced plans to invest $13.5 billion into battery technology by 2030 and aims for 40% of its global sales to come from electric vehicles by 2025.
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