Sunday, December 15th, 2019

Klepper Kayaks harness green power

Published on April 13, 2015 by   ·   No Comments

Klepper has just announced its new E-Kayak kit, an electric motor for use with its Aerius range that can be coupled with solar panels to provide unlimited propulsion – as long as the sun shines.

The Klepper story begins, and indeed continues, in Rosenheim in Germany. Johan Klepper, a tailor in the town bought the exclusive rights to the folding Kayak in 1907, two years after Alfred Heurich, another town resident, had invented it.

The kayaks have been manufactured in the same factory in Rosenheim ever since and the town even has a Klepper museum.

Since the beginning, Klepper Folding Kayaks have been the go-to kayak for any self-respecting adventurer.


In 1909 a Klepper was used to cross the English Channel, in 1926 Amundsen took one to the North Pole and two years later Admiral Byrd took one to the South Pole. The first Klepper Atlantic crossing took place in 1956. The list is endless, name an ocean passage and chances are that someone has already crossed it in a Klepper.

Not content to rest on their laurels, Klepper Folding Kayaks have continued to innovate. We wrote about their amazing BackYak system a couple of years ago ( and now they have come up with a kayak propulsion system, the E-Kayak kit that is perfect for even the laziest kayaker.

The heart of the E-Kayak system is the ‘3-HE’ (high efficient electric engine) motor that was developed by MEB Motoren in Germany. The motor can be raised and lowered from inside the cockpit by a foot-operated rudder, which also steers the boat when the motor is in place. To this basic motor you can add an embedded 12Ah battery and 220V charger in order to optimise it for the Klepper solar generators.


With a fully charged motor, the E-Kayak can travel for 9.3 miles at its top speed of 5 mph, which is a little under two hours of boating. However it has an impressive 32-mile range when operated in slow, power-saving mode at 2.5 mph, so if you don’t mind pootling along you can get a full day’s kayaking even without the sun making an appearance.

Of course if you want to go further afield, what better way than using the sun to charge the motor as you go? Klepper offers a number of solar panel options depending on whether they are attached to the bow or stern. There is also an option for a tracking panel mounted on an adjustable frame so it can be pointed to the sun to maximise charging power.


The E-Kayak motor kit also includes nice touches such as an automatic cutoff that stops the motor if the propeller touches the bottom, and charging ports for phones, GPS and lights.

Aside from paddling, Klepper’s catalogue also offers a couple of alternative ways to propel yourself, including two sail options, a cheapish drift sail and a complete two-sail gaff-rig setup.

Prices for the kayaks start at 2,890 euros for the one-man model. The optional motor extras start at 2,329 euros and the solar panels are listed separately at 590 euros for a 30W rigid panel or 652 euros for a 25W folding panel.

Whatever your choice of propulsion, sail, sun or under your own steam, there is a Klepper Folding Kayak for you.

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