Offshore Funds: GM Sinks $150 Million Into Electric Boat Company

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
offshore funds gm sinks 150 million into electric boat company

Making waves, treading water – the list of puns for this type of investment is nearly endless. In a deal reported by The Detroit Free Press, General Motors has plowed $150 million into a Seattle-based startup company called Pure Watercraft. The outfit makes electric outboard motors and batteries for marine applications.

To be clear, all references to this deal makes sure to point out that the sum touted by both parties includes both “in kind commitments and capital”. This makes it tough to determine just how much cash The General has transferred from RenCen to Pure Watercraft, especially since those in the know ain’t talking. Referring to “in kind commitments” could mean anything from marketing advice to the use of a warehouse, the value of which is often determined by the company supplying the largesse.

This can be troublesome when trying to ascertain the actual value of a deal. For example, your author could claim he gave $1 million of in-kind services when he toiled for three days building a new deck for a family member. I might think the effort was worth that amount, but the open market surely does not.

In any case, GM now lays claim to 25 percent of Pure Watercraft, a ten-year-old company that bills itself as the purveyor of lithium-ion battery packs which are claimed to have the equivalent of 50 horsepower. Their R&D department has apparently been busy, since their website details advancements the team has made in developing a proprietary gear set and motor control design. This years-long research has apparently resulted in a system that runs quietly with less vibration than some other market options.

So what is GM’s endgame here? It could be getting access to that so-called silent tech, though The General’s EVs aren’t exactly noisy. Perhaps they jumped in bed with this company for modular power, touted by Pure Watercraft as a stowable battery pack system. Each pack has 8.8 kWh of juice and can be connected in series for larger capacity applications. They weigh just over 100 pounds each and measure about two feet long by roughly a foot square. Silverado PHEV with a couple of these batteries under the bed, perhaps?

Ok, that’s not likely to happen given GM’s investment in their own Ultium battery technology. If anything, it’ll be the other way around. Suits at RenCen specifically said they’re investing in this company with an eye towards “future zero-emissions marine product offerings”. Specifically, they’ll further develop tech for BEV watercraft, deploying some of The General’s battery technology to help push the industry’s transition to electric power. Remember, GM has its fingers in many pies including rail and aerospace. They’re not all about Silverado and Sierra pickups, no matter what we gearheads like to think.

[Image: GM]

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  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Nov 27, 2021

    Just an opinion for the editor, why do you maximize the size of the blue GM logo? I ask because it really makes it look even more ridiculous blown up than if it were a more manageable size with a white border around it.

  • Farhad Farhad on Nov 29, 2021

    How much I hate that stupid logo. Linux Mint shall really sue them!

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  • MRF 95 T-Bird I owned an 87 Thunderbird aka the second generation aero bird. It was a fine driving comfortable and very reliable car. Quite underrated compared to the GM G-body mid sized coupes since unlike them they had rack and pinion steering and struts on all four wheels plus fuel injection which GM was a bit late to the game on their mid and full sized cars. When I sold it I considered a Mark VII LSC which like many had its trouble prone air suspension deleted and replaced with coils and struts. Instead I went for a MN-12 Thunderbird.
  • SCE to AUX Somebody got the bill of material mixed up and never caught it.Maybe the stud was for a different version (like the 4xe) which might use a different fuel tank.
  • Inside Looking Out Scandinavian design costs only $600? I mean the furniture.
  • Akear Lets be honest, Lucid will not be around in five years. It does not matter that it is probably the world's best EV sedan. Lucid's manufacturing and marketing is a complete mess. The truth is most EV companies are going under within the decade.