The Swedish startup is taking boat commuting to new heights — actually

Is it a boat or is it an airplane? Put your glasses on! This is clearly an electrically powered hydrofoil passenger ferry.

The idea of ​​the Swedish startup candelathe P-12 shuttle is set to be the fastest and longest-ranging electric passenger ship in the world when it is launched this summer.

Founded in 2014, Candela has spent years perfecting its design on recreational boats and is now $20 million powered cash injectionwants to increase production and bring hydrofoils into the mainstream.

The startup is currently building the first two ships at its new factory in Stockholm and Is in discussions with 180 potential operators around the world, TNW said in a written statement.

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Hydrofoils work in a similar way to airplane wings. As the water flows over the surface of the foil, it creates an upward force that lifts 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 boat 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 a second using data from sensors that measure wave height and wind speed. This Bbalances the boat and reduces seasickness – the nasty side of many sea voyages.

The P-12 Shuttle uses computer controlled airfoils to keep it stable even in rough seas. Credit: Candela

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. Even more impressive is that it is said to use 80% less energy than conventional ships, reducing emissions. A recently analysis from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm showed that the shuttle emits 97.5% less carbon dioxide over its life cycle than an equivalent diesel ship.

Lars Jörnow, partner at investor EQT Ventures, who co-led the financing round, believes the P-12 offers a “climate-friendly and cost-effective” solution that will be a “game changer” for passenger shipping.

Not only has Candela attracted investors, but also urban planners. 2021, the start signed an agreement with the Swedish Transport Authority to build and test the shuttle as a potential replacement for Stockholm’s fleet of 60 diesel ferries.

TThe government funded half of the project and Candela funded the other half. The partners aim to complete the P-12 in late 2023 and begin testing the ship in 2024. to connect the fast-growing suburb of Ekerö and the city center.

EKerö residents currently have to make a 55-minute journey by bus, metro or conventional ferry. The Candela P-12 Shuttle will cover the 15km route in 25 minutes – saving commuters 50 minutes a day.

Maritime transport is already Stockholm’s most popular form of public transport, but the current fleet is outdated and a significant source of emissions, says Gustav Hemming, vice-president of the regional board in Stockholm.

There is broad political support for replacing more ferries in Stockholm, as the stated aim of incumbent politicians is not only to reduce emissions from existing vessels, but also to shift commuting from land to waterborne,” Candela said to TNW. The Shuttle’s airability and resulting lack of wake has allowed it to receive an exemption from Stockholm’s 12-knot river speed limit.

Candela round of financing for Flugboot Sweden hydrofoils The P-12 shuttle is being tested on a route between the fast-growing suburb of Ekerö and central Stockholm. Credit: Candela

“Opening up urban waterways to high-speed electric transportation can revolutionize commuting in cities like San Francisco, Seoul or Amsterdam – and at a very low cost,” said Gustav Hasselskog, Founder and CEO of Candela. “No new infrastructure needs to be built.”

In addition to urban commuting, Candela envisions intercity and even international travel. On Sunday it the first high-speed crossing in an electric vessel between Malmö, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark. According to company spokesman Michael MahlbergTThe journey took only 30 minutes and cost 3€ electricity.

The key to Candela’s viability is affordability. “Not only do most traditional battery-powered or hydrogen-powered vessels lack the speed and range of diesel vessels they are designed to replace, but they are also very expensive to buy and operate,” Candela told TNW.

Because conventional high-speed vessels use so much energy, they require large battery banks and charging infrastructure at the dock. Thanks to its hydrofoil technology, the P-12 uses much smaller batteries that can be charged using cheaper infrastructure.

Candela’s biggest challenge now is ramping up production to meet demand, the CEO said. In the coastal and urban segments of ships, Candela estimates the total addressable market for their electric watercraft to be nearly 30 billion

From London to Copenhagen to Amsterdam, many of the world’s largest cities are water-based, making electric ferries an attractive option for clean, efficient transport.

With more than 60 electric ships, Sweden’s neighbor Norway is the world leader in electric ships ferries in service, from its total fleet of 200.

Shipping to the EU was added earlier this year emissions trading system (A’Cap-and-trade system that limits the amount of emissions per sector), which should accelerate the switch to electric ships.

There are currently passenger ferries in the EU responsible for 7% of shipping emissions, accounting for 0.2% of the block’s total emissions.

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