The Swedish marine technology company Candela has shown the first images of its new electric shuttle P-12 Shuttle, equipped with hydrofoil technology that literally make you fly above the water. The manufacturer expects production to start at the end of this year, with the intention of start operations in Stockholm in 2023. The new P-12 Shuttle has been created as a faster alternative to land transport such as cars or buses and will be the electric passenger boat fastest in the worlddepending on the company.
Under the hull of the P-12 Shuttle, some retractable wings that surround the keel descend when the critical speed, and the boat ‘takes off’ above the water, reducing drag. For stabilize the ship On these small wings, Candela incorporates a series of sensors that collect the data required by its on-board computer to guarantee a stable trip in almost all conditions. This technology, which has already been tested in other electric boats of the company itselfnow starts its use in commercial applications.
The reduced friction with the water achieved with hydrofoils allows for much higher speeds, helping the boat to move at 30 knots (55 km/h), which makes it the fastest electric boat in the world, according to Candela. The efficiency of this electric boat reduces energy use per passenger kilometer by 95% compared to current commercial ferries.
The power consumption of the P-12 Shuttle is the equivalent of just 0.1 kWh per passenger and kilometer. The vessel offers a range of 50 nautical miles (92.6 kilometers) at ‘service speed’, thanks to a battery of 180 kWh capacity. To recover the energy, it is equipped with a fast direct current charging system capable of completing the process in less than an hour.
The P-12 Shuttle is a 12-meter (40-foot) long catamaran designed to transport 30 passengers. It will operate its first trade route next year between Stockholm city center and the suburb of Ekerö. Current Stockholm ferries have an occupancy rate of around 17% on average, which means that a 300-passenger ship usually carries around 50 passengers.
The Stockholm region will operate the first P-12 ferry in 2023 during nine months, which is the duration of the test pilot program. If successful, Candela will increase the number of electric ferries on this service, not only replacing the current diesel ferries, but also shifting much of the traffic from road to water.
Currently, this route can be done in 55 minutes using means of transport such as the metro, bus or diesel ferry. Candela assures that the service will be covered in just 25 minutes with the P-12, which will save passengers almost an hour a day. Part of that time savings also comes from an exemption that the P-12 receives in the ‘non-trail’ areas of Stockholm. In them, conventional boats must reduce speed to less than 12 knots to avoid creating a damaging wake for the rest of the boats. However, another advantage of the P-12’s hydrofoils is that they do not create this wake, leaving calm waters in their wake. This is the reason that the boat has received this exemption and can travel at high speeds even in the areas around the city center.
As well as providing shorter journey times than competing means of transport, the ship will offer a more clean and efficient to the diesel ferries currently operating that route. Also, compared to conventional shuttles, the P-12 Shuttle is considerably msmoother thanks to electronic stabilization. The boat’s hydrofoils are computer controlled and make micro-adjustments 100 times per second to deliver a smooth, consistent path over the water that eliminates seasickness.
Candela is already preparing the production of the carbon fiber keel for the first P-12 Shuttle to be laid later this year at Candela’s new automated factory in Rotebro, outside Stockholm. The company will use refined production processes over the course of the design and production of a series of electric hydrofoil pleasure craft, with the hope of eventually producing hundreds of P-12 launchers per year. Cities like Stockholm, New York and San Francisco are ideal candidates for these types of electric ferries, where waterways create natural avenues for passengers.