Swedish electric boat builder Candela will deliver its new hydrofoil to customers this year.
The technology allows the boat to glide above the surface of the water.
Candela says using foils allows the boat to use less power and have greater range.
The speedboat glides above the water surface on airboats
Swedish electric boat maker Candela hopes to popularize the electric boat market with its latest model, a vessel that cruises above water on hydrofoil wings.
The Candela C-8 uses computer sensors to lift the boat onto the foils so that its hull is elevated above the water. By doing so, it reduces drag and decreases the amount of power needed to propel the boat.
According to Candela communications manager Mikael Mahlberg, the speedboat’s underwater foils work just like an airplane’s wing when the boat reaches a certain speed. An on-board computer system, controlled by sensors, orders the boat to pitch up on the foils as soon as the boat reaches a speed of 16 knots.
Candela says he wants to popularize the electric boat market
Mahlberg told Insider that public interest in electric boats has been hampered by the lower range and speed of existing products compared to combustion engine alternatives.
He said electric planing boats – boats whose hull is designed to skim the surface of the water – often quickly lose battery power because they create more surface voltage. Hydrofoil technology could give electric boats greater range, he said.
“If you want to go electric, that’s the only way to go,” Mahlberg said.
Builder says C-8 is cheaper to run than boats powered by conventional combustion engines
The C-8 speedboat cruises at a speed of 20 knots – with a top speed of 30 knots – and can travel up to 50 nautical miles on a single charge.
With a length of 8.5 meters, the boat can accommodate 8 people and sleep 4 in a forward cabin.
Mahlberg told Insider the boat is completely silent, has no wake when on its foils, and can be up to 95% cheaper to operate compared to a conventional combustion engine boat due to its low energy requirements.
“The idea with Candela is to accelerate the transition to lakes and oceans without fossil fuels. And to do that, you need to create an electric boat that is not only much better than today’s electric boats, but much better than combustion engine boats. . You have to make the best boat you can,” Mahlberg said.
The C-8 has a more efficient hydrofoil system than previous designs
Work on the C-8 began 16 months ago. But the hydrofoil technology has been under development since 2014 and was used in the company’s first model, the Candela C-7, which was launched in 2019.
According to Mahlberg, the C-8 model is an improvement over its predecessor as it has a more efficient foiling system and is designed for mass production.
“It’s the same as the Tesla Roadster versus the Tesla Model S…same price, much more advanced product,” he said.
The company also plans to test a hydrofoil ferry this year.
Mahlberg told Insider that Candela plans to build 1,800 boats a year by 2026, including recreational boats and commercial boats.
The company announces that it will launch an airboat in Stockholm, Sweden this year. The 30-passenger ship will be tested in late 2022 by the city of Stockholm as a potential replacement for larger diesel-powered ferries.
“If you look at shipping, there are more emissions from water transport than global emissions from flights,” Mahlberg said.
Candela had already received orders for ferries from all over Europe, he added.
Deliveries of the C-8 will begin this summer
While the ferry’s trial isn’t expected to begin until late 2022, deliveries of the C-8 will begin this summer, when the first 100 customers will receive their boats, Mahlberg said.
It costs around €290,000 ($329,000) to purchase the C-8. Mahlberg told Insider that Candela will primarily focus on European and US markets.
“The United States is our biggest market because a lot of people are super cool to buy a $300,000 boat and order it online without seeing it,” he said.
The market for electric boats is growing
The Candela C-8 joins a growing market for electric boats. Last year, Bloomberg first reported that a team of ex-Space X engineers planned to build a $300,000 electric speedboat.
The Arc team said its limited edition electric boat – Arc One – will also be cheaper to operate than a conventional combustion engine boat and will be rolled out this year, according to the company’s website.
Other electric boat makers, such as X Shore, also launched new models last year.
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