Hobie eVolve Kayak Motor By Torqeedo
When I first heard about the battery operated motor system Hobie was developing for their Mirage kayaks the person I spoke with said “Hobie Cat is working on a trolling motor for their kayaks, it’s going to cost about $1,900”. I thought, “you’ve got to be kidding me, a $2,000 trolling motor? Are they out of their minds?”
Calling the eVolve power system “just a trolling motor” is like calling a Porsche, “just a car”.
To start with the full eVolve system, including the rechargeable battery and full mounting kit weighs in at a svelte 18 lbs. The oomph behind the eVolve is a 6.6lb, 28.8V Lithium-Manganese battery that has a GPS built in it (for speed calculations) and will last up to 8 hours. The battery is so light it actually floats.
The eVolve is controlled by a remote throttle control that mounts to a RAM mounting system (included in the mounting kit) right to the cockpit. The control has 4 read-outs: speed over ground, remaining distance (at current throttle setting), battery charge status and input power.
The coolest part about the eVolve unit is that the drive motor can be mounted to a carriage that replaces the Mirage drive unit or, the drive motor can be fixed to a section that replaces the rudder at the back of the boat. In this manner the boat can be motored and pedaled for added efficiency and for hands free maneuvering when you reach that secret fishing spot.
I tried two Hobie MirageOutbacks with eVolve system. One had the eVolve mounted in place of the Mirage drive system and one had the drive motor mounted to the rudder. My preference was the rudder mount unit. With the drive mounted at the rudder the boat was much easier to steer when backing, the boat was easier to beach (just flip up the drive motor just like flipping up the rudder system on a standard boat) and I really liked the added speed gain when pedaling and motoring at the same time.
While $1,900 for an auxiliary power system might sound spendy, when comparing a $3,900 Mirage pedaling kayak with a fully integrated auxiliary power to a small fishing boat or jet-ski, the price seems right in line.
I am 100% completely addicted to the eVolve power system. The added range it gives to Mirage kayaks is tremendous and the quiet and speed are awesome!