GM takes a stake in electric boating start-up Pure Watercraft

Normal Motors, which has billed by itself as “all in on electrification” this yr, has obtained a 25% stake in Pure Watercraft, a Seattle start-up that helps make electrical outboard motors for boats, the corporations told CNBC.

Pure Watercraft motors use lithium ion batteries and switch 40- to 50-horsepower outboard motors that melt away fuel or diesel. Conventional fuel-powered boats lead to environmental difficulties like sound pollution, smog, and water air pollution that is plainly visible floating on the water in their wake. Pure’s devices are a great deal quieter and cleaner.

For Pure Watercraft CEO Andy Rebele, a lifelong fishing and boating fanatic and previous rowing coach, a personalized push to fix people problems lined up with a huge current market opportunity.

According to the Countrywide Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA) outboard motor profits in the U.S. reached a record stage during 2020, growing for the ninth consecutive year, to an approximated $3.4 billion.

“The boating industry is rising like it has not due to the fact publish-Environment War II,” states Rebele. “During the pandemic, persons preferred to do issues with their households, with their pods. Heading out on the h2o is one of the ideal points to do.”

That increasing industry is on GM’s radar as well. CEO Mary Barra hinted at GM’s desire in electric powered maritime transportation in a website write-up in Oct, talking about the company’s Ultium battery and Hydrotec gasoline cell platforms.

This pontoon is driven by a Pure Watercraft entirely electrical outboard motor.

Courtesy: Pure Watercraft

In accordance to Rebele, the offer with GM is well worth $150 million combined, like payment-in-sort commitments and funds invested by the autos big. The business is not disclosing the break up concerning dollars and payment-in-type.

With its investment decision, GM will become a provider of factors to Pure Watercraft, a co-developer of new merchandise, and will give engineering, structure and producing know-how to help the begin-up create new factories, the companies informed CNBC.

Its new partnership with GM need to help the start-up navigate source chain problems as Pure Watercraft grows, Rebele explained.

For GM, the financial commitment in Pure Watercraft is one more in a series of moves to extend its battery and gasoline mobile systems outside of automotive. Previously this calendar year, GM declared plans to build and commercialize electric powered locomotives with Wabtec. It also has shown desire in working with its batteries and fuel cells for aerospace and navy apps.

Pure Watercraft’s article-dollars valuation stands at $600 million. The 55-employee start off-up experienced previously raised $37 million in venture funding.

— CNBC’s Mike Wayland contributed to this report.