Case Study

Plug- In Hybrid Boat Powertrain

Clients: University of Genova

The project, in collaboration with the University of Genova, had the goal to refit an ancient typical Italian boat by providing a low-carbon, Hybrid Diesel-Electric powertrain.


The solution proposed is a Plug-in Hybrid Power Train which is able to save up to 40% of fuel compared to a traditional boat powertrain, as well as the advantage of a PHEV vehicle with tens of minutes of electrical only operating range.


The brand new powertrain is composed essentially of a propeller driven by a PM electrical motor, a PM three-phase generator powered by a Diesel engine, a Li-Po battery pack acting as a power buffer and the RGM modular converter managing all of the energy fluxes between these components. The highlights of this project are: the peculiar generator set managment as a variable RPM system for the best Diesel engine efficiency at any load; the solution to integrate the advanced technology battery pack together with the motor inverters; the generator power controller; the VDE V0126-1-1 compliant, bidirectional battery charger and more; the hardware and software tuning for naval applications.


The system aroused a lot of interest when introduced at the Genoa Boat Show in October 2013. Together with its technical partner companies, RGM is experiencing the develop a new line of product for the future low-carbon mobility. By its offices in France and Germany, RGM is set to offer the newest sailing technology for the water ways throughout Europe.