Is it a boat or is it a plane? Put on your glasses! This is clearly an electrically powered hydrofoil passenger ferry.
The brainchild of the Swedish startup Candelathe P-12 shuttle will become the fastest electric passenger ship with the longest range in the world when launched this summer.
Founded in 2014, Candela has spent years perfecting design on recreational craft, and now, fueled by a $20 million cash injectionwants to scale up production and make hydrofoil passenger boats mainstream.
The startup is currently building the first two ships at its new factory in Stockholm is in conversations with 180 potential operators around the world, it told TNW in a written statement.
Hydrofoils work similarly to airplane wings. As the water flows over the surface of the foil, an upward force is created, lifting the boat out of the water. Not only does this look cool, it also reduces drag and makes the boat go faster. It also makes the craft more energy efficient.
However, electric hydrofoils are inherently unstable. To solve this problem, Candela spent five years developing computer-controlled hydrofoils that adjust 100 times per second using data from sensors that measure wave height and wind speed. This Bbalances the boat and reduces seasickness — the unsavory side of many sea voyages.
Candela claims the P-12 Shuttle will have a top speed of 30 knots (55 km/h) and a range of 110 km on a single charge. What’s even more impressive is that it is planned to use 80% less energy than traditional ships, reducing emissions. A recent analysis from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm showed that the shuttle emits 97.5% less carbon dioxide during its lifecycle than an equivalent diesel ship.
Lars Jörnow, a partner at investor EQT Ventures, who co-led the financing round, believes the P-12 offers a “climate-friendly and low-cost” solution that will be a “game-changer” for waterborne passenger transport.
Candela has not only attracted investors, but also urban planners. 2021, the startup signed a deal with the Swedish transport administration to build and trial the shuttle as a possible replacement for Stockholm’s fleet of 60 diesel ferries.
TThe government funded half of the project and Candela the other half. The partners aim to complete the P-12 by the end of 2023 and begin testing the ship in 2024. to connect the fast-growing suburb of Ekerö and the city center.
EResidents of kerö currently have to make a 55-minute journey by bus, metro or conventional ferry. The Candela P-12 shuttle covers the 15 km route in 25 minutes, saving commuters 50 minutes per day.
Maritime transport is already the most popular public transport in Stockholm, but the current fleet is outdated and a major source of emissions, says Gustav Hemming, vice president of the Stockholm Regional Executive Council.
“There is broad political support to replace more ferries in Stockholm, as the declared goal of the acting politicians is not only to reduce emissions from the current ships, but also to shift commuting from land to transport by water,” Candela told TNW. The shuttle’s flying ability and subsequent lack of wake has given it an exemption from Stockholm’s 12-knot river speed limit.
“Opening up urban waterways to fast electric transportation can revolutionize commuting in cities like San Francisco, Seoul or Amsterdam – at a very low cost,” said Gustav Hasselskog, the founder and CEO of Candela. “There is no need to build new infrastructure.”
In addition to urban commuting, Candela provides interurban and even international travel. It’s Sunday made the first-ever high-speed crossing in an electric craft between Malmö, Sweden, and Copenhagen, Denmark. This was reported by a spokesperson for the company Michael MahlbergTThe journey took only 30 minutes and cost €3 in electricity.
The key to Candela’s viability, it says, is affordability. “Most traditional battery or hydrogen-powered vessels not only lack the speed and range of diesel vessels they are meant to replace, but they are also very expensive to purchase and operate,” Candela told TNW.
Because conventional high-speed ships consume so much energy, they need large battery banks and charging infrastructure at the dock. Thanks to the hydrofoil technology, the P-12 uses much smaller batteries that can be recharged using less expensive infrastructure.
Candela’s biggest challenge now is scaling up production to meet demand, the CEO said. In the coastal and urban marine segments, Candela estimates the total addressable market for their electric personal watercraft at nearly €30 billion.
From London to Copenhagen to Amsterdam, many of the world’s great cities are on water, making electric ferries an attractive option for clean and efficient transport.
Sweden’s neighbour, Norway, is considered the leader in electric ships worldwide, with more than 60 electric ships ferries in operation, of the total fleet of 200.
Earlier this year, shipping was added to that of the EU Emissions trading system (A ‘cap-and-trade system that limits emissions by sector), that should accelerate the transition to electric sailing.
There are currently passenger ferries in the EU responsible for 7% of shipping emissions, accounting for 0.2% of the block’s total emissions.