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GM takes a stake in electric boating start-up Pure Watercraft


General MotorsAccording to the companies, Pure Watercraft was acquired by a 25% stake. This is Pure Watercraft’s Seattle startup that produces electric outboard engines for boats.

Pure Watercraft uses lithium-ion batteries as an alternative to outboard motors with a 40 to 50 horsepower that use diesel or gas. The environmental effects of traditional fuel-powered boats include noise pollution and visible water pollution floating on the surface. Pure’s systems run much less efficiently and produce cleaner results.

Pure Watercraft’s CEO Andy Rebele was a long-time boating and fishing enthusiast who also used to be a rowing coach. He saw a large market opportunity and set his sights on solving those problems.

According to NMMA, outboard engines sales in America increased by $3.4 billion for nine consecutive years to a new record during 2020.

Rebele states that “the boating industry is expanding like never before post-World War II.” People wanted to spend time with their family and their pods during the pandemic. One of the best things is to get out on water.

GM has also been watching this market grow. Mary Barra, CEO of GM, spoke out about GM’s interest electric marine transport in a blog post in OctoberThis article discusses the Hydrotec fuel cell and Ultium batteries.

Rebele claims that the $150 million deal includes both cash and investment capital by GM. The split of cash and payment in kind is not disclosed by the company.

According to GM, its investment will make GM a supplier to Pure Watercraft and a co-developer for new products. GM also will offer engineering, design, and manufacturing support to the company in the establishment of new factories.

Rebele indicated that Pure Watercraft’s partnership with GM could help it navigate the supply chain as Pure Watercraft expands.

GM’s purchase of Pure Watercraft marks another move in a string of initiatives to improve its fuel cells and batteries. Earlier in the year, GM revealed plans to partner with Wabtec to create and market electric locomotives. It has also expressed interest in using the fuel cells and batteries for military and aerospace applications.

Pure Watercraft is valued at $600million after the money has been received. Venture funding had been previously provided to Pure Watercraft’s 55 employees.

This report was contributed by Mike Wayland, CNBC.