Electric Paddle
Performance Comparison Test

Blogpost by Founder Joe Grez, November 7, 2023

Manufacturers characterize their outboards with a dizzying array of ratings. These include horsepower, equivalent horsepower, propulsive watts, input watts, shaft kW, motor efficiency, propulsive efficiency, lb thrust, battery Ah, battery Wh, and so-on. Though these ratings exist to compare outboards, each is only useful when comparing similar technologies. No standard rating proposed to date can predict the performance on a specific boat in terms of speed and run-time for all outboards. (see our paper on ratings).

Instead of using ratings that don't work, EP Carry offers an online speed and range calculator that does. Just input your hull-type (see description), length and total loaded weight, and the calculator gives you full throttle and half throttle speeds and ranges. Results are usually within 5% but we guarantee that the results are accurate within 10%.

We realize that our unique approach on performance can complicate comparisons to motors that use ratings instead. This report is intended to offer some insight into the comparative performance of EP Carry vs. the increasing array of pod motors. This work was not independently done. But it is an honest assessment within the stated scope and methods used.

EPCarry Performance Comparison Test

The smallest electric outboards from Torqeedo, ePropulsion, Mercury, Newport etc. all share the same "pod architecture". And according to their performance statements, and according to independent reviews, they all appear to all have a quite similar propulsive effect vs input power. The Torqeedo Travel 1003 is the most common portable electric so that's what we chose to represent pod outboards in general. Speeds vs electrical input powers were measured when used on a typical dinghy. Since we know the battery capacity for each model tested, input power also gives us ranges at those speeds.

The closest competitor to EP Carry, in terms of propulsive power, cost and weight, is the Torqeedo 603C. This motor's max-stated input power is 600W. Here's the result for that motor vs EP Carry with its boosted power option.

EP Carry vs Torqeedo on a 9ft, 400lb Minto rowboat

EP Carry vs Torqeedo on a 9ft, 400lb Minto rowboat
Torqeedo 603C has a max input power rating of 600W. Speed and input power results shown come from measuring the performance of a model 1003 at 600W, and ranges were calculated using input power and battery capacity. If you want to know more about how to do this math, see our paper on electrical concepts. EP Carry is using its boosted power option in this example.

You might have been surprised to see that EP Carry provides similar top speeds and ranges vs the Torqeedo while using significantly less input power and a much smaller battery. This difference is a big part of why EP Carry is lighter and less expensive even though it is built in the USA. So why does EP Carry need less input power?

Manufacturers who rely on ratings instead of speeds/ranges need to keep input power high (the logic is: higher input power → higher rating → more sales). But EP Carry was designed to provide optimal propulsive efficiency, which is the functional opposite of a high input power rating.

Following is a detailed test report that presents the measured relative performance of three motors on a typical 9ft rowboat; an elevated architecture motor (EP Carry), a high efficiency pod architecture motor (Torqeedo) and a trolling motor.

Summary of tests

Note that EP Carry is under the protection of issued US patents for our elevated motor design for small electric outboards, our water lubricated gear case/ high aspect ratio boat propeller, and other claims relevant to robustness and usability, and has patent pending on its closed-loop control system.

Summary of tests:

In this test, we measured the electrical input power needed to push a dinghy (a 9' Minto rowboat) to various speeds for each of the three test motors; a Torqeedo 1003, a Minn Kota Endura 30, and an EP Carry. Below is a graph of the results. Following the 4-knot line, you can see that EP Carry uses 230W, and the Torqeedo uses 470W. The trolling motor can only reach 3 knots at full-throttle. Instantly you can see that the Torqeedo is a significant improvement on the trolling motor, as you would expect. But at 4 knots, EP Carry uses ½ the input power vs the Torqeedo.

speed vs input
electrical power
This graph shows speed vs input electrical power for each motor when used on a small boat. Curves are best-fit lines from raw data. Correlation coefficients for these best-fit lines are 0.99.

Relative Power Consumption:

Relative Power Consumption:


If all three motors were paired with EP Carry's battery (288Wh of usable stored energy), the EP Carry would provide ˜ 2x the range of the Torqeedo at 4 knots.

Ranges; Torqeedo 1003, Endura 30, EP Carry, all with a 288Wh battery

Ranges; Torqeedo 1003, Endura 30, EP Carry, all with a
288Wh battery
Ranges of EP Carry (EPC), Torqeedo 1003 (Torq) and the Endura 30 (Trolling) with a common battery capacity.

But the Torqeedo 603C comes with a much larger 500Wh battery. As you can see, both the Torqeedo with its 500Wh battery and EP Carry with its 288Wh battery provide a similar range at each speed.

Torqeedo 603C vs. EP Carry ranges with their standard batteries.

Ranges; Torqeedo 1003, Endura 30, EP Carry, all with a
288Wh battery
Ranges of EP Carry (EPC) with its 288Wh battery and Torqeedo with its 500Wh battery.


It is interesting to note that a Torqeedo 1003 at 3.7x the input power provides only ˜0.5 knots of additional speed vs EP Carry. This reflects an efficiency difference between the two test motors in part, but it also illustrates that once a boat's natural maximum speed range is reached; even multiples of additional input-power produce little additional speed.

Top speeds and input powers for each motor.

Endura 30 3.0 knots   @ 254W input
EP Carry, std pwr* 4.0 knots   @ 220W input
EP Carry, high pwr* 4.2 knots   @ 270W input
Torqeedo 1003 4.7 knots   @ 1,000W input
* EP Carry comes with a standard 220W input power limit. You can install a higher power limit of 270W using your smart phone– See our firmware update for more details. Our standard battery provides 70 minutes of run time using standard power firmware, and 50 minutes using the high power firmware.

You may be aware that Torqeedo claims a peak propulsive efficiency of 48% for the model 1003 tested. EP Carry's relative efficiency of 2x does not mean that EP Carry's efficiency is 96%. It does mean that when used on a rowboat, Torqeedo's efficiency is lower than its advertised peak propulsive efficiency. In other words; Torqeedo provides 48% propulsive efficiency on some kind of boat, but not on small boats like the one tested. This is one of the problems with efficiency ratings– read more in our ratings paper.


  • The test boat was a 9ft rowboat (Minto) with one person aboard. Estimated bare boat weight: 120lb empty. Person weighs 210 lb. The Minto is shaped similarly to the Trinka, Gig Harbor-Captains Gig, CLC's Tenderly, Portland Pudgy, Fatty knees, Dyer Dhow, Walker Bay, etc.
  • EP Carry and its standard 288Wh battery: 14lb + 6.4lb = 20.4lb.
  • Torqeedo 1013 long shaft with its 532Wh battery: 32.4lb.
  • Minn Kota Endura 30 powered by a 12V, 245Wh K2 Energy Lithium battery. Measured weight 22.4 lb.
  • Power was measured for EP Carry and the trolling motor using a Watt's–Up power meter. Torqeedo measurements were taken from its integrated power meter.
  • Speeds were measured using a Garmin hand held GPS, model GPS 12 with 0.1 knot resolution.
  • Additional equipment aboard included a paddle, PFD and a dry-bag with required safety equipment, wind meter, pen and notebook.

Test conditions:

  • Rattlesnake Lake in King County, WA, USA was used for all tests.
  • The same boat and person were used for all tests.
  • The Torqeedo battery had recently returned from a scheduled factory inspection. All motors were inspected at the EP Carry factory to ensure correct operation before each test. All batteries received a full-charge before each test.
  • GPS had fresh batteries and the power meter was checked with a benchtop power supply.


  • Gear and captain were positioned to ensure that trim was level at rest before each test.
  • Torqeedo testing was done with both the Torqeedo setup and EP Carry setup aboard. Estimated displacement: 389lb.
  • Trolling motor testing was done with both the trolling motor setup and EP Carry setup aboard. Estimated displacement: 378lb.
  • All tests were done in light (barely perceptible) wind conditions from the East (no reading on a wind-speed meter when at rest).
  • No test data was taken while changing course.
  • For each test, speed and power data was taken for each throttle setting.
  • EP Carry and Torqeedo have continuously adjustable throttles; test point throttle settings were roughly distributed throughout each motor's power range. The trolling motor that has 5 discrete forward power settings.
  • For each throttle setting, data was only recorded after boat speed and input power readings remained steady for 15 seconds. Power and speed results were then recorded.
  • An equal number of data points were taken traveling E to W, as for W to E.

All Data:

Graph of individual data points collected for all motors tested.  The EP Carry data set includes
points from two separate day's tests
Graph of individual data points collected for all motors tested. The EP Carry data set includes points from two separate day's tests; one when it was compared to the trolling motor and one when compared to Torqeedo. Consistent performance of the EP Carry on these two days indicates that a comparison between Torqeedo and trolling motor performance is also valid.


Clearly, in these tests, EP Carry has proven more efficient than other motors tested, at least for a 9ft. rowboat at just under 400 lb displacement. While we conducted this particular test on only one boat, EP Carry has proven similarly efficient on everything from a 7.5ft CLC Eastport pram kit, to a custom 1000lb 14ft solar boat.

In this discussion section, we explain how such a large efficiency gap is possible. We'll start with resistance differences.


The Endura 30 motor (rated by 30 "lb thrust") could only drive our 9' Minto rowboat to 3 knots. The total boat resistance at that speed is 7 lbf. Small-boats are easier to drive than boaters have been led to believe.

Resistance vs. speed; Minto

Graph of total boat resistance vs. speed for a 9 ft Minto
rowboat at 400 lb displacement.
Graph of total boat resistance vs. speed for a 9 ft Minto rowboat at 400 lb displacement.

Interesting information in itself, but when total boat resistance is so low, things like the drag forces from an outboard's lower-unit are more relevant than one may otherwise think.

Torqeedo and the trolling motor locate their electric motors in a relatively large sealed underwater pod. So how much propulsive thrust is lost due to a pod design's resistance?

When the Endura 30 (propeller removed) pod and stanchion is pulled through the water at 4 knots, the measured drag force is 4 lbf, which increases the total (boat + motor) resistance by 29%. This must be overcome by additional propulsive power. Pod motors like Torqeedo, Mercury, and others have a fairing to reduce stanchion drag. However, we did not measure their resistances at 4 knots.

EP Carry's lower unit has a drag force of 0.8 lbf at 4 knots, which calculates to 7W of lost propulsive power, or a 6% increase in resistance of boat + lower unit, much lower than the resistance of the trolling motor pod.

If EP Carry produced a motor with its same propeller force output at 4 knots, but with a trolling motor pod design, than EP Carry would need 297W instead of 220 Watts to drive this boat to 4 knots. This would reduce run time from 70 minutes to 52 minutes.

Seal Friction:

Pod motors require a shaft seal with friction losses. We have measured 20-100W of input power needed to overcome friction in pod motor shaft seals.

EP Carry has an elevated motor architecture like a typical gas outboard but instead of an oil-filled gear case with seals, EP Carry uses the surrounding water so there is no underwater seal at all. EP Carry's motor does have a seal in the motor head that draws 3 Watts of input electrical power at full-RPM operation.


A trolling motor propeller, like a gas outboard's propeller, is primarily designed to allow the motor to reach its specified RPM under a range of conditions to keep the motor from burning out. And what's good for maintaining high RPMs is not good for propulsive efficiency.

Compared to a gas motor propeller (Honda BF2.3) the EP Carry propeller is more than twice as efficient at converting shaft power to propulsive power.

Typical "high efficiency" electrics use an efficient propeller design when driving larger boats, but these designs also create higher propulsive power losses in easier to drive applications like small boats when compared to EP Carry's high aspect ratio with a larger disk area. Note that EP Carry's high aspect ratio propeller and water lubricated gear case are patented.

Motor controller:

With the trolling motor tested, partial throttle settings operate switches that engage different coils submerged in the motor pod. This reduces speed at the expense of propulsive efficiency. More expensive trolling motors are available with PWM controllers that are more efficient at partial throttle settings but PWM attenuation does not influence the full-throttle trolling motor performance as measured in this test. Some trolling motors are available with brushless pod designs like the other electric outboards referenced in this article. While these increase efficiency throughout the power range, they are not more efficient than the pod motors tested, and come at a similarly high price.

High end electrics like the Torqeedo also use a PWM control approach. But variable loads create variable power absorption levels that can cause an electric motor to operate outside of its peak efficiency region. For example- during the test, I noticed that the Torqeedo absorbed more power when accelerating than when at a constant speed.

EP Carry's closed-loop motor controller (pat pending) maintains the requested input power level regardless of battery voltage or loading, which maintains motor efficiency over a wider range of load variance and assures the same run-time at a fixed throttle setting regardless of the load.

To conclude, differences in propeller, control methods, seals, underwater resistance, and choice of power vs speed characteristics explain the performance differences measured in this test.


Minto Dinghy
Minto Dinghy: Weight:120 lb, LOA: 9 ft.
EP Carry is installed in this image, with the trolling motor aboard awaiting its turn.
Minto Dinghy with a Torqeedo 1003
Minto dinghy with a Torqeedo 1003 installed. When raised, the Torqeedo twists backwards like this due to battery weight. The EP Carry is barely visible in the bilge.
Minto Dinghy with the trolling motor installed
Minto dinghy with the trolling motor installed and EP Carry at the ready.
Watt's Up power meter
Watt's Up power meter (no longer available, unfortunately).
Watt's Up power meter
Garmin GPS 12 is the most accurate hand-held GPS we have found. It produces 0.1 knot resolution.
Cutaway of EP Carry's motor-head
Cutaway of EP Carry's motor-head showing an all-aluminum motor housing, controller heat sink above, and cooling fan (under motor), upper sealed shaft bearings, and electronics encapsulated in clear epoxy. The plastic housing guides cooling air over the individually sealed motor and electronics. All connections in the motor head are soldered and then potted in epoxy for robust waterproof service.
EP Carry on a CLC Eastport Pram
EP Carry on a CLC Eastport Pram, Port Townsend bay near Rat Island WA
EP Carry on a Takacat at the Anacortes Boat Show, WA
EP Carry Ferrying gear
Ferrying gear to the mothership before a winter drizzle-cruise. You can see that as loads increase, EP Carry keeps things moving. Fisherman's bay, Lopez Island, WA
solar powered Sam Devlin cruising catamaran
Two solar cruising boats in Olympia WA. Electric Philosophy is a solar powered Sam Devlin cruising catamaran collaboratively built with the owners Ed and Eileen Pauley. This boat has clocked thousands of solar-powered nautical miles In the Salish Sea and along the inside passage and can recharge faster from its giant array than from dockside power.
EP Carry on a Takacat at the Anacortes Boat Show, WA
Sunnyside EP Carry-powered
top speed is 4.2 knots
Sunnyside is a 14' home-built camp cruiser for two. Cruise displacement is 1,000lb. Sunnyside was built to conduct long distance reliability testing (its hard work, but someone has to do it). Sunnyside's EP Carry-powered top speed is 4.2 knots, but she has traveled up to 38 nm in a day using her roof-mounted 300W solar array. Even on week-long cruises, she has never needed to recharge from dockside power.
Sunnyside EP Carry has rope steering
Evening at anchor along the Salish 100 cruise route. Sunnyside's EP Carry has rope steering and a remote throttle setup, which is available as a special order. Throttle with forward and reverse, emergency key, steering and motor tilt all work remotely.
Sunnyside EP Carry has rope steering
Swe'Pea is a 14 ft solar-powered runabout based on a 1960s hot-molded International 14 hull using the same motor now used on Sunnyside. This picture of Swe'Pea was taken by John Kohnen during the 2019 Salish 100 cruise. Sunnyside was captured here in a small trough, heading north against a waning southward tide and with following winds, just north of Kingston WA. At this point, the motor was using only 70W of input power from two 100W solar panels in overcast conditions, yet she was traveling 2.8 knots against the tide.
This particular EP Carry, made spring 2018, has clocked over 600nm driving these two boats that each represent the largest and heaviest recommended for an EP Carry outboard. Most travel has been in the Salish Sea, through calms, sun, rain, rips, winds, tides and powerboat wakes, and this motor has even towed several disabled boats (up to 6,000lb displacement) to safety.
We know of other EP Carry units with high mileage, also powered using onboard solar. Smaller boats are easier to power with solar vs larger boats due to a square-cube law relating resistance to solar area. Sunnyside and Swe'Pea are able to cruise 10hrs a day at 80% of hull-speed using relatively small 200W or 300W arrays. This is possible because when compared to other "high-efficiency" electrics, EP Carry needs only a fraction of the solar collector area for a given speed.
Sunnyside gets the royal treatment in Anacortes WA.