Latest News



Volvo Penta and Groupe Beneteau collaborated on an innovative hybrid-electric testing event in June, designed to gather valuable insights about the future of boating. The event, held at the Volvo Penta Krossholmen Test Facility in Gothenburg, Sweden, featured boating media, dealers, and customers.

Attendees were given the opportunity to experience a conceptual boating journey that showcased Volvo Penta’s hybrid-electric system integrated into a leisure boat, highlighting sustainability, ease of use, and quiet cruising.

Johan Inden, President of Volvo Penta’s marine business, expressed the significance of the event, stating, “Never have we been able to gather so much valuable insight on the future of boating from such a well-rounded group of industry experts during hands-on testing.” The collaboration between Volvo Penta and Groupe Beneteau allowed them to tap into a wealth of knowledge from dealers and customers, shaping the future boating experience.

Attendees had the chance to engage with expert demos and test drive the hybrid-electric vessel. A remarkable 72% of participants indicated a high likelihood of choosing a hybrid-electric system for their next boat purchase after the testing, demonstrating a growing trend toward market readiness for hybrid-electric boating solutions.

Erik Stromberg, Vice President of Power and Motor Yacht Products, highlighted the importance of the event in gathering data and insights, saying, “As we look 10 to 15 years into the future, we are looking at a significant shift in terms of propulsion systems, and we will use the data and insight collected through this collaboration as inspiration towards our path ahead.”

The hybrid-electric boat featured in the event offers the best of both worlds, combining the range and top speed of a conventional combustion engine vessel with minimized carbon emissions from an electric driveline. It reaches a top speed of 35 knots and can cruise at speeds of up to 10 knots using electric power alone. The plug-in parallel hybrid features two Volvo Penta D4-320 engines and two 60 kW electric motors, providing responsive and smooth acceleration.

Key features of the boat include onboard battery banks with a capacity of 67 kWh and a unique Human Machine Interface (HMI) that seamlessly switches among Electric, Hybrid, and Power modes. This battery storage enables off-grid living, allowing exploration of otherwise-restricted areas like protected waters and wildlife habitats. The boat also includes Volvo Penta Joystick Docking and Dynamic Positioning System for precise control.

More than 50 guests attended the event, with 77% considering themselves “expert” or “advanced” boaters. Polling revealed that their interests in hybrid-electric boating primarily revolved around environmental benefits (47% interested in carbon emissions reductions) and improved boating experiences (41% interested in new technology).

Following their test drive, attendees provided positive feedback on various aspects of their experience, with Volvo Penta’s Joystick Docking in electric mode receiving high praise from 98% of testers.

Volvo Penta and Groupe Beneteau plan to continue exploring insights gained from the event, focusing on areas such as safety on the water, charging infrastructure, pricing models, user interfaces, guided experiences, boater education, gamification, comfort, and overall experience. This collaboration aims to enhance the boating experience and promote environmental efforts to align with market needs, driving industry-wide transformation.



Celebrating Volvo Penta’s recognition at the first MRH
Innovation & Sustainability award. Left to right are:
Jennifer Humphrey, Rachel Solgat, Christine Carlson,
Melissa Stewart, Malin Schwartz.

Volvo Penta is leading the marine industry in delivering sustainable propulsion to help protect the world’s oceans and other waters. Its efforts embrace wide-ranging solutions and technologies to serve both current and future needs. The company’s substantial investment and innovation have now been recognized in a new award from the Marine Research Hub and the organizers of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show to celebrate those making a significant contribution to advance sustainability.





Published in print January-March 2024