Yamaha Joins Marine Industry Leaders On Capitol Hill - The Fisherman

Yamaha Joins Marine Industry Leaders On Capitol Hill

Yamaha U.S. Marine Business Unit executives joined 225 representatives from the boating and fishing industries in Washington D.C. for the 2022 American Boating Congress (ABC) from May 11-13. During the three-day event, Yamaha leaders conducted 70 meetings on Capitol Hill educating legislators about the challenges of electrification in boating, the need to support research and approval of biofuels, and requesting improved labeling for E15 fuel through the Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act (H.R. 7731).

Martin Peters, Division Manager for Marine External Affairs at Yamaha said the company and its partners in the industry have a responsibility for conserving air, land and water resources for the future, which will ultimately mean helping reduce carbon emissions.  “Electric power is not a complete solution to reach carbon neutrality for several reasons, but the primary issue is the energy density gap between batteries and gasoline,” Peters said, adding “A one-size-fits all solution will not succeed. The marine industry’s mid-term future will include more second and third-generation biofuels, which will require research, development and swift regulatory support for approval, transport and distribution.”

“The marine industry needs to partner with the government for support on regulatory approvals as we strive for a carbon neutral future,” Peters added.

According to Yamaha, many transportation companies plan to reach carbon neutrality through electric products. In 2021, Yamaha Marine introduced HARMO, a clean, quiet, environmentally friendly electric boat control system that serves as the foundation for future electric-powered products from Yamaha, HARMO may be a good solution for specific applications in small, light-weight vessels, but Yamaha executives suggested it’s not appropriate for higher horsepower outboard applications.

“The issue is the energy density gap between batteries and gasoline. Batteries are heavier, require more energy and cost more to power a boat. Gasoline has dramatically more energy per unit than any type of battery available which creates the gap between the two energy sources,” explained Peters. “Because of the energy density gap, internal combustion will play a big role in the future of boating. Gasoline, of course, is currently the primary power source for marine internal combustion applications, but we will need to explore fuels that are themselves carbon neutral.”

During the ABC, the marine industry continued to speak with legislators about the damages and corrosion ethanol fuel (E15) can cause in marine engine systems, and the need for better labeling at the gas pump.  As an alternative, the industry presented butanol blends, specifically biobutanol, as a better solution for recreational marine engines and boats, causing less system damage while emitting even less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Yamaha, along with other marine industry organizations, also suggested a hybrid solution as the most efficient method to reach the goal of carbon neutrality; a combination of electrification, second and third-generation biofuels and other alternatives, such as hydrogen.

In addition, Yamaha and marine industry representatives advocated strongly for the passage of the PREPARE Act, which will allow the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make low interest, fixed rate loans of up to $500,000 to small businesses. These loans will give small businesses, which comprise roughly 84 percent of the U.S. marine industry, the ability to prepare for and survive future disasters, without closing their doors permanently.