Swedish tech company Candela Technology AB has not only just unveiled the world’s first electric hydrofoiling passenger vessel—the Candela P-12—in Stockholm. They’re already ramping up for serial production.
That’s a pretty amazing feat since the entire concept was only first announced in June 2022. But I’m not surprised at all since I first met company founder Gustav Hasselskog and some of his growing team of hypersmart engineers, software developers, yacht designers and boatbuilders in Stockholm in 2021.
Back then, they were on a mission to overcome some incredibly hard challenges to revolutionize boating by building an electric-powered boat that would be sustainable AND outperform conventional-fossil fueled boats too. Oh yeah, be more economical as well. And the success of the boats they’ve launched since then: the fun and sporty P-8 and now the workhorse P-12 proves they were, and still are up to the challenge.
Like the other Candela models, the P-12 uses computer-guided hydrofoils to lift the hull out of the water to reduce friction. This innovation addresses the primary challenges that have hindered the widespread adoption of electric, fast vessels to date: limited range and slow speeds due to the excessive energy consumption of conventional hulls.
Once flying, the digital flight control system compensates for waves, side wind, and current by adjusting the hydrofoils 100 times per second. During its first flights, Candela P-12 confirmed its top speed of 30 knots, a record for electric passenger vessels. With a range of up to 50 nautical miles, it is also the first electric ship with the practical endurance to cover most coastal transport needs.
Erik Eklund, Candela’s Director for Commercial Vessels, emphasizes, “With the P-12, we’re not just offering a faster, more comfortable electric alternative to fossil fuel-powered vessels. We enable operators to make the switch to sustainable vessels that are cost-effective and profitable, a crucial step towards clean oceans and lakes.”
Once in service, operators can expect reduced ‘fuel’ costs by up to 90% compared to diesel vessels. The C-POD motors require minimal servicing, and the vessel is designed for single crew operation, which further slashes costs.
And it’s designed to be more than only a ferry. In fact, it’s available in three versions: P-12 Shuttle, P-12 Business, and P-12 Voyager. The Shuttle configuration seats 30 passengers and sets the benchmark for sustainable commuting with the lowest operational costs in the industry. Allocated space for bicycles (along with strollers and wheelchairs) encourages the integration of cycling with public transport. The Business version features a premium interior with seating for 12 to 20 passengers (and plenty of suitcases), and the highly adaptable Voyager version offers customers flexibility in interior design, catering to both private leisure and commercial clients.
“The P-12 is a platform that will cater to a vast range of clients. Whether it’s public transport fleets, VIP services, or private customers, it will revolutionize how we travel on water,” says Gustav Hasselskog.
I couldn’t agree more.