Suzuki Marine marked the completion of a 940-mile northward run along the Eastern Seaboard to demonstrate the viability of a partially renewable new marine fuel, as well as the unique micro-plastic collecting device in select Suzuki outboard engines.
This trip—dubbed the Suzuki Marine EcoFuel Run to the Capitol—started in Jacksonville, Florida, and ended in Washington, DC, and spanned 10 days aboard a 26-foot Sea Pro center console powered by twin Suzuki DF140 outboards and fueled exclusively by the new EcoGen90 sustainable marine fuel from VP Racing. The trip was timed to coincide with the opening day of the 2023 American Boating Congress (ABC), put on the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and bringing together the marine-industry leaders and government officials to discuss issues affecting recreational boating.
The unique Suzuki-powered boat will be used during ABC for on-water demonstrations to highlight and promote the availability of new sustainable fuels to the boating industry and government decision makers.
Lower Emissions and Enhanced Performance
“We undertook this voyage in support of NMMA’s initiative to educate and inform the industry, policy makers and the boating public about alternative marine fuels,” said George “Gus” Blakely, Suzuki Marine Executive vice president for sales & service. “There are roughly 12 million gasoline-powered boats across America today, so these new fuels offer a real opportunity for boaters and the boating industry to make an impact and lessen our environmental footprint.
“Not only are these fuels formulated with renewable content, but they also produce substantially fewer emissions and even provide boaters with enhanced performance and reliability,” Blakely added. “This is a win-win for boaters, the industry, and the environment.”
The VP Racing EcoGen90 fuel used for the Suzuki trip consists of 10 percent of a renewable blend stock known as Ideal EMP supplied by a company called LyondellBasell. This formulation results in an ethanol-free gasoline blend that reduces CO2 emissions and eliminates the deleterious effects of gasoline that’s blended with alcohols, according to VP Racing. Though Ideal EMP is not ethanol, it is created by reacting bio-ethanol (made from agricultural crops) and natural gas. This results in an ether compound that serves as the renewable component.
The boat logged 941.5 miles while burning 479 gallons of EcoGen90 fuel—just a tick under 2 mpg in the 26-foot deep-V boat. In addition to running the entire 940 miles on EcoGen 90, the twin outboards were equipped with Suzuki’s standard Micro Plastic Collecting Device integrated into the outboards’ cooling systems. These were checked and cleaned regularly throughout the journey, with the bits of collected micro plastic pollution being sent to Suzuki in Japan for review and analysis as part of the company’s Clean Ocean Project initiative.
“This voyage was an important first step,” Blakely said. “We look forward to working closely with NMMA during ABC to shine a spotlight on new sustainable marine fuels and the positive impact they can have on our industry and the environment.”