Nominations open for international electric boat award

Nominations are now being accepted for the Gustave Trouvé Awards for Excellence in Electric Boats and Boating, colloquially known as the Gussies.

Nominations are being accepted in four categories:

  • Electric Boats Under 8 metres/26 feet
  • Electric Boats Over 8m/26 ft
  • Electric Boats Designed for Paying Passengers
  • Customized / DIY Electric Boats

Members of the public as well as manufacturers and others in the marine industry are welcome to nominate any electric boat and can find the qualifying criteria and nomination form on the websites of the Gussies.

The awards, says organisers, were created to recognise the inventors, designers, manufacturers, entrepreneurs and visionaries who are making advances every day to develop clean, quiet, zero emission technologies and designs to reduce reliance on fossil fuel for marine propulsion.

They are named to honour Gustave Trouvé, a prolific French inventor with over 75 patents to his name who was awarded the Légion d’Honneur in 1882. Among his innovations was the world’s first outboard boat motor, which he devised so that he could detach the motor from his prototype electric boat Le Teléphone and take it home to work on in his Paris apartment.

While Trouvé’s invention predates the 1887 patent of the internal combustion engine, and electric boats have been available since the first years of the 20th century, it is not until recently that they have begun to enter the mainstream. Analysis from Research and Markets in February of 2020 estimates that the global market was worth US$4.49bn in 2018, and is expected to grow to US$12.32bn by 2027.

The Gussies are the only international boating awards that focus exclusively on electric boats and boating. The 2020 awards had 50 boats nominated from 19 countries with the winning boats hailing from France, Singapore and India.

Winners are selected through a combination of online public voting and weighted voting by a panel of industry experts from: the Electric Boat Associations of the UK, USA, Greece, Canada and Switzerland; the Alternate Fuels Committee of Inland Waterways International; and the Venice 2028 organisation and e-Regatta. Voting is hosted online.

“The first year of The Gussies saw over 10,000 votes from electric boat enthusiasts all over the world,” says Jeff Butler, founder of the awards, “and with interest in electric propulsion growing literally by the day, I expect many many more this year.”

The opening of nominations (26May21) marked the 140th anniversary of Gustave Trouvé’s first trip down the Seine River in his electric boat in 1881.

Nominations close on June 15 with a series of votes taking place until the winners are announced on the 118th anniversary of Trouve’s death in 1902: July 27.