An Interview with…….Rory Trahair – CEO of Vita Power
- Posted by Ed Ewer
This week we conducted an interview with Rory Trahair, CEO of Vita Power. Rory spent his earlier career at one of the leading brokerage houses in a range of different sales and marketing roles before establishing his own superyacht industry consultancy. He is now leading Vita Power as they establish themselves a major player in the world of electric craft and powertrains.
We ask him about his reasons for joining Vita Power and the future for both electric craft and for the brand itself
You come from a background in high level marketing and running your own consultancy firm. How did you first get involved with Vita Power?
I was introduced to the co-founders of Vita back in 2018 by a mutual contact. Under FOIL we did some consultancy work for Vita in the South of France in the latter half of 2019 and I joined them full time in January 2020.
What was/is it about the brand that excites you most?
The team and their mission. I immediately liked the co-founders and their ambitious plans to reduce the impact of boating on the marine environment through electrification really struck a cord with me.
What has been the response from the superyacht industry when it comes to electric boats? Do you think EV boats will become as mainstream as ICE boats are right now?
At first, sceptical at best. The industry is pretty conservative and so our pitch to swap out a tried and tested (if polluting solution) solution was difficult to fathom for some. I am pleased to say that a lot has changed even in the past 18 months and we are now seeing clients actively pushing for electric tenders with the builders/brokers and managers all embracing the change.
For EB’s (electric boats) to become mainstream, pricing will have to become more competitive which we are already seeing happening driven by the wider EV market. Electric propulsion systems and boats are a reality today, so there is no reason for boats with the right operational profile to go electric. Superyacht tenders doing ship to shore type operations with a power supply at the mothership is an ideal application.
How similar are the systems you’re installing on your boats to those in cars? Is it as simple as marinising a car system like boat companies used to do with big petrol and Diesel engines in the past?
Our technical team is almost entirely made up of engineers with backgrounds in Formula 1, Formula E, motorsport and automotive, so a lot of the technology and developments in these sectors have carried across. Our systems are developed to avionics standards meaning they are able to operate in extreme marine environments. Beyond that the marinization is largely around the integration of our powertrains into different boats which is relatively straightforward for custom projects and a little more complex when we integrate into an existing vessel.
How does the future look for Vita. What do you and the team have planned?
The future is looking really exciting. We are riding the wave (excuse the pun) of the growth and adoption seen in the EV space while also making significant headway to electrifying the marine sector. We are due to launch our new boat in the coming weeks and are working on a number of powertrain projects for superyacht tenders. Our marine charging network AQUA superPower is expanding and has recently been established as an independent sister company to Vita. So growth on all fronts which is great to see.
SYR are recruiting exclusively for VITA within their UK operations. Please contact us if you’d like to know more about the Vita Power projects or would like to discuss opportunities available