A simple and powerful design of an electromagnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT) without bulky permanent magnets is presented. The EMAT is operated in a pulse echo modality and generates longitudinal ultrasound at about 1 MHz. Unlike shear waves, these longitudinal ultrasound pulses can propagate in liquids. The generally addressed application scenario is the examination of a liquid volume inside a metallic container or tank, e. g., the detection of inhomogeneities within the liquid. The herein proposed EMAT operates for virtually all metallic containers, i. e., it succeeds for container walls made of aluminum or ferromagnetic steel, and even for non-ferromagnetic (stainless) steel. Moreover, unlike piezo transducers, EMAT techniques allow for a non-contacting ultrasound transduction: the air gap between the EMAT sensor coil and the tank’s metallic surface extends up to 2 mm. Even with this relatively large air gap, the biasing magnetic field approaches a flux density of 3.2 T at the surface, more than what is possible to achieve with the permanent magnets of conventional and bulkier EMATs. Strong fields improve the coupling efficiency of the principally low-efficiency EMAT mechanism, which is important for both ultrasound transmission and reception. For that superior field intensity, a unipolar current pulse of up to 3.6 kA is applied through the thin windings (0.5 mm) of the EMAT coil. This paper presents a novel solid-state EMAT circuitry for such strong currents and MHz pulsed voltages >1 kV. As a particularly delicate task, the powerful circuitry must also detect the rather weak echo signals in the μV range. A very short recovery time is required after such a strong emission burst. The discussed circuitry consists of three unipolar high-current modules, which can each be independently launched. This allows for received echo signals that can be timed independently, e. g., objects deep inside the liquid tank can be specifically addressed. In general, this work concentrates on the novel circuitry in parallel connection, the general pulse-echo functionality and the magnetic fields. A detailed analysis and shaping of the ultrasonic fields through different EMAT coil geometries would exceed the scope of this contribution and is to be reported separately.