Candela Seven is the first electric, foiling boat that beats fossil fuel competitors on speed and seakeeping.
Skimming half a meter above the sea’s surface, the Swedish-made Candela Seven electric boat looks like something out of a movie. But the craft is very real – and in serial production.
– Until now, fast boats have been very draggy. By lifting the hull above the water, we reduce friction by 80 percent. This is the key to a long electric range on one charge, explains Candela founder and CEO, Swedish engineer Gustav Hasselskog.
He started Candela in 2015 out of frustration over the bad the energy efficiency of planing motorboats.
– I had a 6 meter aluminium boat that consumed 15 times more fuel than my car. Obviously, something had to change, says Hasselskog.
After starting out his company in a small shed in a suburb of Stockholm, Hasselskog soon got his first angel investor and scaled the company quickly. Since then a growing, international team of 35 engineers and technicians have developed the advanced foil technology and computerized foil control system that has resulted in Candela Seven, a 7,7 meter long speed boat for the leisure market.
A wing under the hull provides enough lift to take off from the surface in 17 knots. The wing-shaped foil reduces energy consumption by 80 percent compared to fossil fuel, planing boats, says Hasselskog.
The range in 22 knots is 50 nautical miles (92 km, or 57 miles). When cruising along in 22 knots, the Seven uses only 20 kW, or 28 horsepower.
– A planing, combustion engine boat of the same size needs at least 100 kw, so this is a big step forward, explains Hasselskog.
But the novel hydrofoil technology offers other benefits, too. Instead of using a classic V-hull that smashes its way through rough seas, Candela uses software to avoid the waves altogether. Ultrasonic sensors in the boat’s front detect waves and feed a computer, which automatically changes the foil’s angle of attack 100 times per second.
– The software is a mix of code from drones and what you would have in a jet-fighter, explains Gustav Hasselskog.
The result is a smooth ride in almost any conditions. Candela’s team even claims they have eradicated sea sickness, since the control system prevents the Seven from rolling or pitching. The company has tested their flying craft in just about every condition on the Baltic sea, including storms and big swells.
– Actually, the faster you go, the smoother the ride. To fly over these really big swells without slamming or noise, it feels unreal! says Gustav Hasselskog.
Serial production has started in the company’s factory outside Stockholm, and the goal is to deliver 30 boats this year. Fifteen have already been sold and ten of the flying boasts were delivered to customers last year.
While Candela Seven is the Swedish start-ups first product, the company eventually aims to make a big impact worldwide by using their foiling technology on up to 60 meters long ferries and ships.
– Shipping is responsible for 4 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions and 30 percent of the air pollutants. Going electric is the only way forward, says Gustav Hasselskog.
Facts sheet Candela Seven
- Length 7,7 meter
- Beam 2,4 meter
- Weight 1300 kg
- Battery 40 kWh lithium-ion, from BMWi3
- Motor 70 kW for take-off, 20 kW in cruise speed 22 knots
- Top Speed 30 knots
- Take off speed 17 knots
- Cruise speed 20-25 knots
- Range 50 nautical miles (92 km, 57 km) in 23 knots
- Draft 0,4 meter when foiling
- 0,5 at low speeds with foils retracted (foils can be hoisted up when running slow in shallow waters or if you take the boat on a trailer)
- 1,2 meters with foils down
- In 25 knots, the Candela Seven uses 80 percent less energy than a traditional boat of the same size.
- Emissions are 99,5 percent lower (based on EU energy mix)
- 95 percent cheaper to run (based on standard EU gasoline price)
Read more in swedish: Elbåtar på Allt för Sjön: Svenska, flygande Candela Seven är framtiden för motorbåtar