Pre-production electric hydrofoiling ferry rides above the waves
Swedish foiling e-boat maker Candela has announced the maiden flight of its P-12 passenger ferry, with its dual electric drives and tri-wing setup lifting the vessel above the water to reach a top speed of 30 knots. Series production has now begun, marking "the start of a new, sustainable era in water transport."
"Today, in many cities, roads are congested while the waterways – mankind’s oldest infrastructure – is unused for fast commuting," said company founder Gustav Hasselskog. "The P-12 offers a path to use these waterways as green highways, offering fast intra-city connections. The quickest way is often over water."
The electric hydrofoiling passenger ferry has been designed for single-person operation and is powered by two C-Pod electric drive units. The Zero model P-12 pre-production prototype managed to reach its maximum speed of 30 knots (34 mph) within 16 seconds after making its take-off speed of 16 knots.
The catamaran rises above the water on three carbon-fiber wings, with an electronic control system using sensor data to adjust foil angles to ensure a smooth ride. The spec sheet lists a 252-kWh battery bank – though there's no mention of the P-12 benefiting from the company's partnership with Polestar – for a per-charge range of 40 nautical miles at a 25-knot service speed.
The P-12 measures 11.99 m (39.3 ft) in length – hence its name – and has a 4.5-m (14.7-ft) beam. The Shuttle offers capacity for 30 seated passengers, who board the vessel via an extendable, automatic bow ramp that can be adjusted to different quay heights. There's room for bicycles, strollers, wheelchairs and more on board too.
Candela reports that serial production is now underway, with the second vessel set to become part of Stockholm's public transport system from 2024, cutting commuting time from the city center to Ekerö island from 55 minutes to 25.
The P-12 is available in three platform configurations, with the Shuttle version priced at €1.7 million (converting to US$1.85 million), which is reported about the same as upfront costs of a similar-sized diesel ferry – though operational costs are expected to be much lower.
"With P-12, we don’t just offer a faster and more comfortable electric alternative to fossil fuel vessels," said Hasselskog. "We offer operators to switch to sustainable vessels, while increasing profits. That’s hugely important to drive the transition to fossil-fuel free oceans and lakes."
We've no cost estimate for the Business version, but this configuration is designed to transport between 12 and 20 passengers in a premium interior. The Voyager flavor can be adapted for private leisure use or commercial operations. The video below has more.