While most of the world’s attention is focused on electric vehicles, a Swedish startup is transforming boating in the same way Tesla has cars.
Candela builds “flying electric boats” – speedboats that foil – and this week introduced a passenger boat, Candela P-8 Voyager, they hope will transform the Venice motoscafi (water taxis), not only with a zero carbon footprint, but also reducing the wake that’s also eating away at the city.
The foil – underwater wings – reduce energy consumption by 80% compared to a traditional motorboat.
The company even believes they could play a role in preserving the Great Barrier Reef, protecting coral and also cutting the engine noise that research is causing fish to die prematurely from stress.
The wake of P-8 Voyager is only 5cm high on its hydrofoils and runs silently, with a top speed of 30 knots (55kmh) and a range of around 90km at its cruising speed of 20 knots. It will slice through a 1-metre swell at that speed and has room for six passengers and two crew. A recharge costs about US$10.
Erik Eklund, Candela’s chief executive of commercial vessels said foiling is the key – the P-8 Voyager has 2-3 times longer range than any other electric speedboat, as well as being kind on a fragile marine environment and its inhabitants.
“From Venice to the Bahamas, it’s absurd to travel in beautiful and fragile ecosystems in speedboats that burn 200 litres of petrol per hour and make huge wakes,” he said.
“With the Candela P-8 Voyager, we wanted to make a no-compromise electric exploration vessel. You have the performance, can cruise for well over 2 hours, but there’s virtually no negative impact on the environment.”
Candela set out to specifically design a boat to replace the world’s fleets of smaller and fast combustion engine passenger craft – yacht tenders, taxis and rigid inflatable boats.
Eklund says the P-8 has the seakeeping ability of a 100-foot ship in a 28-footer and most importantly, the C-POD electric motor can run for 3,000 hours without service.
“There’s no transmission, and, therefore, no noise, no oil, no cooling fluid – and no need for maintenance,” he said.
“For commercial operators to go electric, we knew the service aspect was important. No matter if you run a taxi boat business or if you’re a superyacht captain – our aim is to minimize maintenance and to provide hassle-free ownership.”
When moored, the hydrofoils retract into a hull recess and the boat is fully connected, so Candela’s 24/7 Service department to perform remote troubleshooting and updates.
The Stockholm-based marine tech company, founded in 2014, is known for its revolutionary hydrofoiling electric vessels. The Candela C-8 leisure boat also made its debut at Salone Nautico in Venice). They’ve now released electric boats ranges from leisure craft to the flying electric ferries for the City of Stockholm.
Candela is now available for order in New Zealand – you can take the Candela C-7 for a test drive in Wanaka and Queenstown on the South Island now, via a partnership with local company Next Generation Boats. The bigger C-8 is expected to hit Kiwi waters in December.