Electric hydrofoiling pioneer Candela has raised $20M – on top of the $24M raised last year – to bring their 30-passenger electric hydrofoil shuttle to mass production and launch in Stockholm this summer.
The SEK 210 million ($20M) investment is co-led by EQT Ventures and investor duo Joel Eklund (Fosielund Holding AB) and Svante Nilo Bengtsson (Marknadspotential AB), with participation from Ocean Zero LLC, among others.
Ocean Zero was also involved in Candela’s $24M funding round and is backing a number of electric boat ventures, the most recent being the wingsail-outfitted solar electric catamarans of ZEN Yachts.
Electric hydrofoil shuttle profitable from day one
“This new investment will unlock the potential of under-utilized waterways for climate-friendly, high-speed commuting,” said Gustav Hasselskog, Candela’s founder and CEO. “The P-12 Shuttle will in many cases be faster and cheaper than land transport like bus lines, and it will be profitable for operators from day one.”
The first operator to use the Candela P-12 will be the Region of Stockholm, servicing commuters between the suburb of Ekerö and central Stockholm. Travel times, currently 55 minutes by car, bus or conventional diesel ferry, will be cut to just 25 minutes in the P-12. That also results in more frequent departures compared to traditional ferries.
The efficiency of Candela’s hydrofoil system give the P-12 a range of 60 nautical miles on one charge at a cruising speed of 27 knots. Because no wake is created, Candela has received an exemption from the 12-knot speed limit on Stockholm’s urban waterways.
Uses 80% less energy, emits 97.5% less CO2
At the heart of the hydrofoil ‘tech stack’ is Candela’s Flight controller, a computer which automatically stabilizes the vessel during flight by regulating the hydrofoils, using data from sensors that gauge wave height and wind speed, among other factors.
With the boat and its 30 passengers ‘flying’ above the water the foils, there is almost no water resistance or drag. The P-12 Shuttle uses 80% less energy than traditional in-water vessels, which brings significant environmental benefits.
A recent life cycle analysis by Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology concluded that a P-12 ferry will emit 97.5% less carbon dioxide over its lifetime compared to a diesel vessel of the same size – a figure that includes emissions from production, operations over 30 years, and recycling.
The big attraction for operators, though, is money. The electric hydrofoil shuttle reduces operational costs by 50%, thanks to the low energy usage and maintenance.
“Waterborne transport is the next frontier set for sustainable disruption, and it’s happening now”, said Candela’s Hasselskog, adding that the company is in sales discussions with more than 180 interested parties about the P-12 Shuttle systems.
Across the coastal and urban segments of vessels, Candela estimates the total addressable market for their electric watercraft to be more than $30 billion USD.
Lars Jörnow, Partner at investor EQT Ventures, comments: “The P-12 Shuttle will be a game changer for passenger water travel. Candela is on a trajectory to become a generation defining company, revolutionizing the waterborne transportation market by offering the most climate friendly, low-cost and customer-delighting boating experiences in the world.”
“Candela’s tech stack is truly impressive. The experience of flying above the water in complete silence is just pure magic. This, while simultaneously reducing operational costs, will be key to speeding up the transition to sustainable waterborne transport”, says Svante Nilo Bengtsson, who will take a seat on the Board.