FAQ  Fischer Panda Hybrid Drive System

General questions

What does “Hybrid” mean within a Fischer Panda Hybrid Drive System?

“Hybrid” of Fischer Panda products is a combination of an electric drive motor and a diesel generator. The electric motor is supplied by a battery bank and the generator (DC) charges the battery bank. If the output of the generator  is optimally adapted to the output of the motor  a continuous operation at maximum performance is possible.

Which components does a Fischer Panda electric drive system consist of?

The main components are:

  1. Electric drive motor ( shaft, POD or parallel drive)
  2. EasyBox (motor controller, fuses, power supply for cooling etc.)
  3. Battery bank (up to 20 kW: 48V DC system, >20kW – 100 kW : 360 / 400 V DC
  4. Control unit including display (monitoring, setting and control of all functions)
  5. Throttle (single or double, depending on number of drive motors)
  6. Optional: battery charger
  7. Optional: generator to charge the batteries and to supply onboard power


Which are the basic components required for the system?

In case of a system running on batteries only the components 1 – 6 are required.

Which kinds of motors does Fischer Panda offer?

  • Shaft motors (for a direct installation at an existing propeller shaft)
  • POD Motors (“Aziprops”) for an installation under the hull. It is possible to mount them either fixed or turnable (please see drawing)

What are the performances of the Fischer Panda motors?

Currently (April 2020):  3.8 kW  up to  20 kW  (48V DC safety extra-low voltage)

> 20 kW up to 100 kW (100V / 360V / 400 V DC high-voltage)

Special motors (e.g. motors for submarines, motors for special vessels)


What is the difference between a “serial hybrid” and a “parallel hybrid”?

In case of a „serial hybrid drive” the diesel generator supplies the electric motor directly. The electric motor is the main propulsion of the boat.

In case of a “parallel hybrid drive” the electric motor is parallely switched to the drive shaft of the diesel drive engine. This means that the electric motor “works” as a generator when the boat is running with its diesel engine.

When the diesel engine is turned off the vessel can be driven with the electric motor only. As, generally, the output of the diesel engine and the output of the electric motor are very different it is important to choose a suitable reduction and clutch. Please contact us. We will be glad to assist you.


Does Fischer Panda also offer the HDS (“Hybrid Drive System”) as “Parallel Hybrid System”?

Yes, our shaft motors can be installed parallely to the main drive, too. This requires various measures. Fischer Panda will be pleased to assist you if you would like to install a parallel hybrid drive.

What is the guarantee/warranty provided by Fischer Panda?

For commercial  operation 1 year, for private use 2 years


What are the advantages of the Fischer Panda systems compared to systems of competitiors?

Fischer Panda offers a complete system including the generator. You will only require one contact for the installation and the service and we will assist you with all questions that may occur.

Fischer Panda can look back on 35 years of experience building generators.

Fischer Panda has got more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing electric drive systems.

Our latest drives are the 4th generation of Fischer Panda electric drives which stands out thanks to its advanced technology.

Can I test drive a boat with this system?

Yes at our local lake here in Paderborn. Our boat is equipped with a 10 kW drive system and can be test-driven on request.

If you are in Berlin you can test drive a 37 ft. motor yacht with a Fischer Panda drive system.

Please arrange an appointment with us if you are interested in test-driving these boats.

Can I also order batteries, battery-charging devices and propellers through Fischer Panda?

Yes, on request we can supply the whole package including batteries, charging devices and propellers.

Fischer Panda works out the best-suited propeller individually depending on the respective boat and application. The costs are borne by Fischer Panda.

System configuration

How do I calculate the output of the electric drive required for my boat?

Rule of thumb:

1 kW per ton of displacement is sufficient for inland waters without current.

2.5 kW per ton of displacement should be installed if the boat is driven on waters with current or in the open sea.

Can I combine different energy systems?

Yes, e.g. solar energy, wind energy and onshore power supply. This requires the use of  their related inverters and charge regulators.

What can I use from my existing system?  (shaft ?)

Surely the drive shaft. It is possible that the existing propeller, batteries or the control can be used.

Can I use my existing Fischer Panda AC generator for the hybrid drive system?

Not exactly. You can continue to use your AC generator for the onboard power supply (230 V / 400 V).

Additionally, you can use your 230 V AC generator  as power supply for the charging devices which charge the battery bank of the drive.

Can I also use a generator which has a lower output than the nominal output of the system?

Yes, this is possible. However, this reduces the continous output of the drive to the output of the generator. Nevertheless, it is possible to make use of the full performance temporarily. In this case the energy difference between the system and the generator will be taken from the batteries.

Can I continue to use my Saildrive?

Yes, it is easy to vertically mount the shaft motor on the Saildrive. However, the great power development of the electric motor must be taken into consideration and, should the occasion arise, the Saildrive or the the mounting of the Saildrive has to be reinforced in a suitable manner.

In case that the load changes rapidly the high torque of the electric motor may lead to a damage to the Saildrive if this has not been designed in a stable manner.

Moreover, the Saildrive is quite loud so that it is not possible to enjoy silent cruising with the electric drive.

Therefore, Fischer Panda does not advise skippers to use a Saildrive in combination with our motors.

Please contact us if you have any further questions.


Can I also purchase the generator with keel cooling?

Yes. As we would have to custom-build, this would require a surcharge.


Where do I have to install the generator, the batteries and the electric devices?

In compliance with the installation regulations at any place in the boat. However, cable lengths and cross sections must be designed by Fischer Panda in advance.

Can I use two generators with a different performance?

Yes, nearly every combination is possible.

Do I require two battery banks for two drive chains?

No, one battery bank is sufficient for two drive chains.

Can I also use the drive system with a tractor propeller? What is the advantage?

Yes as it is more effective.


What is the fuel consumption of the diesel generator?

  1. 0.3 l/kW/h


How does Fischer Panda define the electric drive power of  e.g. “10 kW”?

Mechanical output data = shaft power. (This is the output actually available for the drive system).



Weight advantage compared to a diesel drive?

There is no weight advantage as the weight saving due to the light electric drive is generally offset by the weight of the batteries required.

Why do I require a higher voltage in case of a higher performance?

As high discharge currents negatively affect the battery life the maximum discharge power of our systems should not exceed approx. 250 A (in case of 20 kW Systems 400 A). Therefore, the more powerful drive systems  (> 20 kW … 80 kW) are operated between 96 V and 360 V DC. From 100 kW 400 V DC are necessary.


Can I completely go without battery bank – I would only like to drive my boat with a generator?

From a technical point of view this is possible but we urgently advise you not to. The battery bank is, at least, required as a buffer to keep peak loads of the propeller away from the generator. As a mechanical system a generator cannot react as quickly as required. If you do not have a battery bank, this might lead to voltage dips or spikes which may lead to an automatic shutdown of the system.

Which capacity is necessary for my system?

At least 60 Ah as a buffer. Otherwise depending on the requested  driving time.

Which type of battery/manufacturer does Fischer Panda recommend?

It is  possible to use each traction battery. In case of lithium batteries we recommend batteries that do not require ACTIVE cooling (lithium-iron Phosphate LiFePO4 batteries of the brand SUPER-B).

In  case of  lead-based batteries AGM batteries are very well-suited, e. g. of the brand HOPPECKE.

I have already got service batteries on board – Can I continue to use them?

We recommend not to use these batteries in connection with the electric drive system, as the battery bank for the drive system should contain batteries of the same type and age.

Of course, you can continue to use your existing service and starter batteries for your onboard power supply.

Can I use a generator for direct charging of the batteries?

Yes, an AGT-DC generator with the matching voltage. This is also suited for many lithium battery types.

What is the output at which I can charge the batteries via the motor when sailing?

At approx. 5 – 10 % of the motor output when the speed of the boat is high enough (> 6 kn).

Which emission regulations does the generator comply with?

This depends on the generator model and its output. Please  ask your Fischer Panda contact partner.

Which DC/AC inverter / battery chargers does Fischer Panda recommend?

e.g. VICTRON Quattro or  VICTRON Multiplus combined charger/inverter. The output depends on the requirements of the skipper.

Can I combine onshore and generator power?

Yes, this is possible via an additional inverter. E.g. the VICTRON Quattro multi-functional inverter: battery charging, 230 V onboard power and onshore charging in one device. The Quattro  can accept two AC inputs and automatically connect to the active source (e.g. generator, onshore power).

Besides the 230 V onboard power supply does the system also supply 24 V to operate e.g. my navigation system?

Yes, via a DC/DC inverter (integrated in the system).

What is the max. power for 24 V that the electric drive system can supply?

The DC/DC inverter supplies max. 50 A which can be used to charge the starter batteries or for the power supply onboard (light, navigation electronics etc.).

Can I also operate my bow thruster / capstan via the 48 V battery bank?

No, we urgently advise you not to. Consumers such as capstan, bow thruster or stern thruster that require very high currents for a short period of time should have their own battery bank and charging electronics.

How do I find out the optimum propeller for my boat with a Fischer Panda hybrid drive sytem?

Fischer Panda cooperates with different engineers who are specialised in working out the correct propellers. Based on all boat’s and drive data the optimum propeller is chosen for the configuration and the boat. Fischer Panda takes over these costs (when an electric drive systems is purchased).

Which insulation does Fischer Panda offer for their generators?

GRP (glass reinforced plastic capsule) and MPL (stainless steel capsule). There are three different insulation reinforcements to choose from.

Is there another possibility to improve the sound insulation?

An “exhaust gas/water separator” avoids that cooling water drips from the exhaust.  This means that the generator can also be used in harbours without disturbing your neighbours.



How much is an electric drive system compared to a standard diesel drive system?

A direct comparison is not possible. Because of the double benefit of the hybrid drive system (drive and onboard power supply) only one standard diesel drive plus onboard power supply via the generator should be compared with the cost for a hybrid drive system. Furthermore, the installation cost for the drives (much lower than for an electric crive) should be taken into consideration.

Must I have the commissioning done by Fischer Panda?

Yes, the commissioning by Fischer Panda is imperative to obtain the warranty/guarantee from Fischer Panda.

How much is the commissioning by Fischer Panda?

550€  / per day and per person + travel fees. Generally speaking and in case of a good preparation 1 man-day is sufficient for the commissioning.



Can I carry out the installation of the system myself?

The installation of the system should be carried out by specialised electricians or an authorised Fischer Panda dealer / technician. A faulty installation may lead to errors in the system which then may lead to safety issues. Fischer Panda can support the the person carrying out the installation by means of  detailed installation instructions or, should the occasion arise, by a technician.

A high-voltage system must be installed by a trained electrician or a specialised company.


Service and maintenance

What kind of  maintenance does the hybrid drive system require and at what intervals?

The systems only require little maintenance. Please see chapter “maintenance intervals” in the manual.

Is a remote maintenance possible?

Yes, it is in certain cases.

What can I do myself?

Simple diesel maintenance such as oil change, change of oil filter, control of diesel filter and change when necessary, check of V belt and change when necesseary, check of impeller of impeller pump and change if necessary.

The necessary maintenance works can be gathered from the manual.

 Where do I receive worldwide Fischer Panda service?

Fischer Panda has worldwide service stations in more than 80 countries. Our Global Service Directory (which you can find on our website) contains a list of all stations and their contact details.

Where can I purchase spare parts for the system?

You can purchase spare parts at any authorised Fischer Panda dealer or directly at Fischer Panda in Paderborn.