Story at a glance

  • General Motors on Monday announced it bought a 25-percent stake in Pure Watercraft.
  • The company makes all-electric outboard motor systems for boats that utilize lithium ion batteries.
  • GM said the investment will help develop and commercialize battery electric watercraft and help to “accelerate the industry’s transition to electric mobility.”

The nation’s largest car manufacturer is investing in a Seattle startup that builds electric boat motors as part of its broader interest to transition to zero-emissions transportation. 

General Motors on Monday announced it bought a 25-percent stake in Pure Watercraft, which makes all-electric outboard motor systems for boats that utilize lithium ion batteries. The motor is designed as a drop-in replacement for boats equipped with a gas motor up to 50 horsepower. 

The startup boasts developing an all-electric boat engine that doesn’t produce noxious fumes, fuel spills or direct emissions, and notes that its engines are much quieter. 

GM said the investment will help develop and commercialize battery electric watercraft and help to “accelerate the industry’s transition to electric mobility.” 


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“GM’s stake in Pure Watercraft represents another exciting opportunity to extend our zero-emissions goal beyond automotive applications,” Dan Nicholson, GM vice president of global electrification, controls, software and electronics, said in a release

“Building upon GM’s existing efforts to strategically deploy our technology across rail, truck and aerospace industries, the combined expertise of these two enterprises should result in future zero-emissions marine product offerings, providing consumers with more choice than before,” Nicholson said. 

The investment comes as the automaker is betting big on electric and autonomous vehicles. GM plans to exclusively offer electric vehicles by 2035, ending production of its diesel and gasoline-powered cars and trucks. The goal is part of a larger plan for the Detroit automaker to be carbon neutral by 2040 in its global operations. 


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Published on Nov 22, 2021