The Power of Partnerships

Virginia Aulin

March 15, 2023

Photon's Brian Boshes (left) and Eric Olson of Sharrow Marine discuss the performance gains provided by the Sharrow Propeller™

In February 2022, the four Photon Marine founders visited the Miami International Boat Show (MIBS), to get the “lay of the land” of the biggest boating show in the world; at that time, they shared ambitious visions of developing an electric motor to provide an alternative to ICE motors for commercial boaters. 

A mere year later, Photon had turned their vision into reality by developing a prototype electric motor, which was exhibited at the MIBS at both a convention center booth and a boat on the water to deliver sea trial experiences throughout the week.

While we’re proud of our creative, fast-working engineering team, we’re also proud of our ability to form the partnerships we needed to make the sea trials possible. We looked for people who share our focus on innovation and sustainability and our commitment to providing a superb product and excellent customer service.

While Photon is boat agnostic, we obviously had to have a vessel on which to integrate our electric motor system. Enter Silverback Marine, a boat building company based in Tacoma, Wash, which provided us with a 21-foot long, 3,500 lb aluminum workboat called the Grizzly 21. The Silverback team is hard working, resilient and durable – just like their boats.

Next up, the battery pack. We worked with KREISEL, an Austrian company whose mission-based business matches ours. “As the electrification of cars and commercial traffic is the new standard, we now must take the next steps towards sustainable marine solutions. KREISEL Electric‘s goal is to contribute and stop ocean pollution through the electrification of maritime solutions. Together with our partners, we strive for a future with clean oceans!”

KREISEL marine battery systems ensure unsurpassed lifetime, and mitigated downtime and derating, regardless of the given ambient temperature. This ensures highest availability for permanent operation cycles. Intensively tested safety features and DNV compliancy corroborate compliance with the highest safety standards. In 2022, John Deere, headquartered in Iowa, acquired a majority ownership stake in KREISEL and will also invest in battery assembly in the US, according to John Deere news releases.

We were also pleased to outfit the Grizzly 21 with a Sharrow Propeller™. Again, part of Sharrow Marine’s promise aligns with ours: “Pump Less Gas.” The innovative design eliminates or reduces tip cavitation and vortices, offering performance gains and a much quieter system. The company is based in Michigan. 

It’s also a work of technical art. We had it on our motor on display at our booth and many visitors came over to touch, admire and photograph it.

We have been collaborating with Garmin on satellite technology and display systems. They’ve been really helpful in providing feedback on our display designs, in recommending the right products to support our on-board pvOS software platform and in sharing their product roadmap to see where it might align with ours. In addition to their satellite tech, we’re also using their sonar and speed sensor products. We value the expertise and enthusiasm of the team members we’ve been directly working with, as well as the company’s focus on sustainability, quality and safety in general. 

And, finally, we are working with Dometic – for our steering system – a company committed to using energy-efficient production methods and recyclable materials, to enable customers to live sustainably on the road or on the waves – with smart, durable products that last longer.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. The Photon motor is our baby, and it took a collaborative community to get us on the water in Miami to show potential customers what’s possible in the EV marine world.