Volvo Penta has always been at the forefront of innovation in marine technology, most notably with their remarkable IPS system. The company has had a long-time commitment to low emissions and environmental sustainability in the marine industry and the latest achievement is their hybrid concept announced for their IPS propulsion system.

The hybrid concept is designed to enable zero emission running for marine vessels and the electric-only mode extends entry into environmentally sensitive zones while providing enhanced onboard comfort and boat handling characteristics. This announcement means a Volvo electric power solution on both land and sea by 2021! Fret not though, the new technology will exist side by side with the traditional diesel and gasoline technology with plenty of flexibility in implementation and design.

“With full torque from the electric motor available instantly, the boat will maintain the responsiveness and controllability that IPS is famous for in electric-only mode, as well as offering the ability to run at 10 to 12 knots,” says Niklas Thulin, Volvo Penta’s Director of Electromobility.


The IPS hybrid system will be based on the proven technology and experience of Volvo Group. It is planned initially for the 8-13 litre engine range which means ferries, pilot and supply boats and yachts alike. This will be shortly followed by the technology being available to the leisure industry.

The modular nature of the battery packs allows customers to tailor the design and performance of both commercial and leisure boats. The benefits extend to improved battery capacity with electric-only cruising as well as the use of smaller diesel engines and lower fuel costs with frequent external charging. Servicing costs will diminish with no servicing requirements for the electric motor and the battery and lower servicing requirements for the diesel motor due to reduced operating time.


Environmental consideration, reduced emissions and changing our habits are a fact of life. The marine industry is expecting low and zero emissions zones to be introduced more widely world-wide. Norwegian government has already introduced sensitive zones on the Norwegian waters and such measures are predicted to affect the delicate areas around the Great Barrier Reef as well. With new advances come new possibilities too. Imagine what engine technology with lower noise, vibration and running costs can do for the Queensland tourism and whale watching industry?


What does this mean for you in practical terms? What realistic options are there for your boat? As per always, you do the boating and we keep it smooth, clean and worry-free for you. Whether that is a hybrid concept or something else, get in touch with us today and you will have our expertise and experience on your side.