Candela Technology’s P-12 Shuttle, the world’s first 30-passenger electric hydrofoil boat, has finally taken off in Stockholm waters. After successful test runs at up to 30 knots top speed (55,5 km/h), it is now going into serial production at Candela’s Rotebro factory in Sweden.
The first P-12 Shuttle will enter Stockholm city’s fleet of public transportation ferries in 2024 in a pilot on the main routes, reducing commuting times by more than half and with operational costs reduced by at least 40%, the Swedish electric boatbuilder claims.
Flying above water’s surface
Retractable hydrofoils lift the 9,9-ton boat half a meter above the surface once a speed of 17 knots (31 km/h) is reached, with minimal wake. That’s why Stockholm’s naval authorities allow the P-12 a speed limit exemption, enabling it to more than halve commuting times. An Ekerö suburb-city center commute is reduced from 55 to 25 minutes, surpassing the speed of cars, buses, and current diesel ferries.
The Candela P-12 Shuttle is an 11,9-meter-long hydrofoil ferry with a 4,5 m beam, seating up to 30 passengers. Allocated space for bicycles (along with strollers and wheelchairs) encourages the integration of cycling with public transport, Candela says. But it’s also available in a ‘Business’ version with comfortable business seats or a ‘Voyager’ version with a lounge set-up.
For the latter, an extra for the custom design is charged on top of the €1,7 million base price tag (ex. VAT). That price looks quite robust, but Candela ensures it matches the cost of similar-sized ICE vessels and is priced significantly lower than other electric options.
Two torpedo-shaped Candela C-POD MAXs remain underwater while ‘flying’ to boost the P-12 with 340 kW total peak power. Thanks to the hydrofoil technique, a low displacement compared to a classic ship, the relatively small battery pack of 252 kWh offers ranges up to 40 to 50 nautical miles (74 – 92 km) at service speeds of 25 knots (46 km/h).
Consuming seven times less energy
Compared to the 35 kWh/Nm energy consumption at the service speed of a diesel ferry, Candela claims, the P-12 only consumes 5 kWh with zero emissions. The diesel ferry would emit some 13,6 kg CO2 per hour.
In 2020, Candela surprised the world with its first electric speedboat, the Seven. ‘Flying’ nearly noiseless over the water at 30 knots (55 km/h) with a 100% electric hydrofoil speedboat. With a range of 50 nautical miles at 20 knots, the C-7 set several world records for electric boats. The limited production run of 32 units ended in 2021.
The concept was further refined in the Candela C-8 and P-8 Voyager production models, using up to 80% less energy than conventional boats of the same size, thanks to much-reduced water displacement.
In 2021, Candela launched the bigger, high-volume production Candela C-8, designed for mainstream electric boating. With room for eight passengers, it has a range of 50 nautical miles at 22 knots and a top speed of 30 knots. Candela claims its C-8 is 400% more efficient than other powerboats on the market.
In 2022, Candela launched the Candela P-8 Voyager, an electric water taxi for twelve people, and the P-12 Shuttle electric ferry in 2023, completing its final test runs and going into serial production.