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ZeroJet electric jet propulsion systems selects Super B as exclusive battery supplier.

by Billy Tong - Racetech 8 Nov 2021 11:46 NZDT 8 November 2021
Zero Jet Motuihe Island July 2021 © Mike Peffers

ZeroJet manufacture high-performance lightweight electric jet propulsion systems for boat builders, and has chosen Super B as their exclusive battery supplier.

ZeroJet produce the world’s lightest electric jet propulsion system designed to deliver unbeatable performance to small watercraft. Their innovative system is safe, easy to use, compact and quiet but most importantly, environmentally friendly, and emission-free.

The Auckland based startup is combating the ever-growing issue of outboard motor pollution by developing a competitive alternative to petrol outboards. Small outboards produce extremely harmful emissions, and they do so significantly; one small 5HP four-stroke outboard running for an hour contributes the same pollution as 38 cars running at 95km/h for the same amount of time. Emission-reducing technology has never had a widespread introduction on outboards, and an emission-friendly alternative was not readily available until ZeroJet hit the market.

The company spent over six months deciding on the specific chemistry for batteries that would satisfy their strict requirements for safety and performance. They experimented with 18650 Lithium cells and Lithium Nickel Magnesium Cobalt (NMC) packs, but neither of these options proved suitable for their advanced technologies. 18650 Lithium cells are known for catching fire, and NMC cells can ignite at 150 degrees. The safety risk is way too high for these types of chemistries going on a tender on the back of someone’s yacht. In the end, and after consultation with experts in Australia, ZeroJet agreed that the highest performing and safest option to suit their clientele would be the Lithium Iron Phosphate, LiFePO4, chemistry in their systems.

After settling on LiFePO4, ZeroJet tested several brands to find their ideal battery solution. The first one fell short of the mark, as the required pack size was just too big and heavy for their tenders. The second brand they tested seemed promising, but the Lithium cells kept becoming unbalanced. Unbalanced Lithium cells are inefficient and dangerous for the battery, and although they typically can be balanced again, special care and charging techniques would have been required which is never an ideal solution for an end-user who wants a turn-key and plug-in solution.

Super B offered a unique system consisting of their Nomada batteries, which proved promising during their initial testing phase. The ZeroJet system is low voltage – 48V, so it needs a higher discharge current for optimal performance. Many brands were eliminated due to their inability to perform to this high standard and meet this specific requirement. However, the Super B Nomada battery with a modular style and exceptional performance, proved itself to be a class-leading LiFePO4 battery with the one of the highest energy density specifications on the market. ZeroJet chose this safe and powerful solution for their tenders. As standard, a ZeroJet powered tender will use 4 Nomada batteries connected in series to offer 48V with 105Ah capacity. These are distributed in two battery boxes, one on either side of the tender.

ZeroJet put the safety of batteries at the forefront, and that’s why they chose a Lithium Iron Phosphate option. This battery chemistry is the safest choice on the market and ensures that their tenders don’t catch fire even if the battery gets punctured. Electric car fires are always highlighted in the media which leads to uncertainty around their safety. Fortunately, this common misconception is only true of some lithium chemistries.

We frequently see the fire risks of electric vehicles, but this is because their batteries are typically Lithium NMC and the cobalt in the battery can be highly unstable at higher temperatures.

Choosing Super B, ZeroJet made an extremely safe and smart decision, as no Super B batteries contain any cobalt.

ZeroJet and Super B are committed to a long-term partnership in New Zealand. Super B is constantly developing and testing new technology for its batteries to harness the full potential of lithium chemistry. ZeroJet is looking forward to utilising these advancements in its jet boats to improve their performance and safety. They have seen great success already and are continuing to grow on an exponential scale. By the end of the year, they are looking to have 20 full-time staff working on growing and develop the product to service the global market.

For more information on ZeroJet:

For more information on Super B:

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