Leif Stavøstrand | EVOY Electric Engines

A day in the life…


Based in Florø on the beautiful west coast of Norway, Leif Stavøstrand often shared with his family his intrigue and fascination with emission-free boating and how the idea could be brought to market and become a reality.

How it all began
Having qualified with a degree in naval architecture with engineering, Leif, together with his father’s significant boat building skills, set about work on developing their ideas further. In 2018, a demo boat, EVOY was born. The first ever boat with Evoy’s then named ‘Hurricane’ unit, was a fully electrified inboard propulsion system that was launched and ‘christened’ by Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, and capable of an unofficial world record of 55 knots speed. That was the encouraging first start to Leif’s dream of starting his own marine electric engine manufacturing company, but a marathon was about to begin as with any disruptor business. Leif’s life and business dream has changed in just a few short years. “There has been a sea-change in Evoy’s evolution – we are not chasing so much, but being chased a lot more”.

The morning
His typical day starts at 7am. Walking or cycling to the office, it’s quiet when processing the paperwork. Performance vs forecasts for investors is imperative. At the beginning of 2020, Evoy secured €7.3 million in capital from an ongoing series of investment rounds, with €3 million coming from the European Union’s Innovation Council, but accountability and upward management, and keeping investors informed is imperative. 8am and staff are in. Meeting with my other experts, my wonderful team. How can I help? Important to listen to them and their updated perspective on Evoy’s evolution. It’s up to me to support them and adapt where necessary. Their challenges are mine so it’s important to me to find solutions for them. Evoy’s range is their target. Often self-imposed by them, but Norway at large, aims to be the world leader in developing this carbon free sector.

The afternoon
The afternoon is more recently spent on sea trials using craft fitted with our high output electric engines. A small collection of craft that we can use to demonstrate our expertise in the market, such as the new Axopar 25 Electric with our 300hp outboard, the Hydrolift 22 with our 120hp outboard and the incredible Goldfish X9 RIB with our 400hp inboard. 3pm is 10am EST, I start fielding calls from the USA so the afternoon, can be split between sea trials or back in the office to address those enquiries. It’s exciting that we have so much interest from the USA. At 5pm I am thinking about my family, if I possibly can, I will get back home for a family meal and saying good night to my children just 7 and 10 years old. It’s what it’s all about, preserving the world they will inherit from us. The way the business usually works is another influx of e-mails that need attention and I’m often working from home until midnight.

Stavøstrand are family pioneers
Having moved from Canada to Norway at an early age, it was Leif’s family interest in fish-farming in the early seventies, that contributed towards his grit and determination to succeed whatever the circumstances might present. Leaving home at 16, Leif returned to Canada qualified, bright and talented, but not convinced about a purely academic career. Instead, he took a ‘hands on approach’ as a seafarer, climbing the ranks to become third officer on chemical tankers. With multiple global circumnavigations, a marine engineering degree, an MBA to boot and having started a family, Leif ascended the corporate ladder of an oil supply base in Norway, eventually becoming CEO.

It would have been a comfortable life but there was a nagging doubt about a career that relied on fossil-fuel technology. With encouragement from his father, the ambition of starting Evoy was simply too strong to resist for the Norwegian pioneer and the rest as they say is history in the making!