Yamaha HARMO Tech Promises More, Electric Fun on the Water


Published on August 6th, 2020 |
by Jo Borrás

August 6th, 2020 by  

Electric boats are coming along almost as quickly as electric cars, with the quieter craft lending themselves to scenic tours of lakes, canyons, and reefs without blasting sound waves scaring off the very wildlife you came to see. The new electric power plants lend themselves to new configurations, too — packages that could make electric boats even quieter, and stealthier, than they already are. That’s the thinking behind the new Yamaha HARMO system.

The HARMO system is being sold by Yamaha as “a next-generation control system platform” consisting of a propulsion unit powered by an electric motor, a remote-control box, and a joystick that adopts some of the characteristics of eVTOL drones to allow boats equipped with HARMO to go forwards, backwards, or even sideways (!) all without causing a ruckus or waking up the neighbors.

Yamaha Harmo Electric Drive and Steering Unit

Yamaha HARMO, image courtesy of Yamaha

As you can see from the image above, everything in the Yamaha HARMO propulsion system is wireless and of a piece. The battery — whether a “conventional” EV battery or something solar-y or even something more hydrogen-y and fuel cell-ish — is irrelevant. It can be stored in the middle of the boat, in the bottom, on top, or wherever. HARMO doesn’t care, so the shipbuilders and forward-thinking naval architects out there can do what they please, with minimal compromise being made for the engine and drive system.

This HARMO initiative is part of Yamaha’s long-term vision of “ART for Human Possibilities, Rethinking Solutions, Transforming Mobility,” and is “also seen as positive activity toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.” It also speaks to Yamaha’s plan to provide electric motors to other OEMs like Ford and Volvo which have historically bought high-performance engines from Yamaha in the past.

And, if you ask me (you didn’t, I know), letting Yamaha build your engines has always been a smart play.

Check out the official Yamaha HARMO promo video, which does a great job of explaining how HARO works and why it will help make electric boats THE boats you’ll want very soon, below. Once you’re done, scroll down to the comments and let us know what you think!

Yamaha HARMO = Harmony on the Water

Sources: Yamaha, via New Atlas
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About the Author

I’ve been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and have been a part of the Important Media Network since 2008. You can find me here, working on my Volvo fansite, riding a motorcycle around Chicago, or chasing my kids around Oak Park.

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