This 37 minute electric boat virtual sea trial, a video taken on the Candela 7 electric hydrofoiling boat, is ‘the next best thing to being there’. (Video at the bottom of this page).
Many electric boat videos have high production values with flashy subtitles and music underneath – which is great – but the simplicity of this sea trial shows just how quiet an electric boat is.
It also dramatically demonstrates the smooth ride of the Candela and live statistics on the screen show real time electricity use and speed.
Electric boat virtual sea trial puts you in the captain’s chair
The pilot for the test drive is Candela’s Product Manager Teodor Hällestrand and the location is waters near the company’s headquarters in Lidingo, an island in the Stockholm archipelago a few kilometres from the centre of city. (It’s also been home to the members of ABBA).
Mikael Mahlberg, PR and Communications Manager of Candela, was kind enough to give us some background information and insights on the test:
We do these test drives pretty often – every time we build a boat we take them on a shake down cruise to see that everything works well before we ship them across the Atlantic or any other remote place ?.
This time my colleague Teodor filmed it and made this video to show the consumption of the boat and to be transparent with the actual performance.
Unlike on land, where the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulate what electric car makers can and cannot say regarding range, there is no governing body like that for boats, so we wanted to show actual usage and range/speed.
I think this electric boat virtual sea trial illustrates how efficient a foiling, electric boat is and also captures the feeling of how it is to drive the Candela Seven, with its very user friendly user interface where you see your range, consumption and speed.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The % Battery, Nautical mile (Nm), kilowatt per Nautical mile (kW / Nm) and Knots of speed that you see on the video image are taken from the Candela interface, but the interface itself is not shown)
The user interface is a rather overlooked but unique feature in Candela. Rather than use an off the shelf-plotter, like most boat manufacturers do, we have developed our own in-house interface that is less cluttered and more like smartphone-like.
Unlike third party plotters/apps, our software updates are pushed through the 3G network. We plan to release a video on our user interface soon!
As you can see, when driving in 20 knots, the consumption is about 0,8-0,9 kWh per nautical mile. The motor uses about 19 kW of power. That is very low, but seeing it visualized on the screen gives a better perspective of how incredibly efficient this boat is.
Fuel cost for electric boat virtual sea trial? $1
Mikael continues: In Sweden, the spot price of electricity is at an all-time low of 10-20 öre (1-2 cents) per kWh before taxes, ironically due to the very mild weather. Electricity demand for heating has been low and the winter was also very humid, which has caused water reservoirs for hydro power to overflow.
All these factors, that are thought to be more common in the future with climate change, has led to the Candela being very, very inexpensive to drive compared to gasoline powered boats.
This 37 minute demo tour cost us slightly more than one dollar. Gas for a 7,5 meter long boat would have cost 25 dollars, even after gas prices have plummeted. Electricity still beats gas with a factor of 1:25.
The main reason behind Candela’s efficiency, of course is the hydrofoils, coupled with the light weight of its carbon fibre hull. When founder Gustav Hasselskog first embarked on his electric boat journey in 2014 he realized that a boat planing through water would always have to use a considerable amount of energy to overcome the drag.
He put together a remarkable team of electrical engineers, structural engineers and experts in hydrodynamics, flight control electronics and software algorithms to create the Candela 17, which had its first test runs in 2017.
Since then it has won numerous awards in Europe, and is now on track to achieve its goal of building and selling 30 boats this year. Most recently, Candela joined the sales roster of Denison Yachting, one of the largest and most experienced yacht brokers in the US.
Now, thanks to this video, you can have your own electric boat virtual sea trial from the comfort of wherever you happen to be.