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In cities like Stockholm, Amsterdam, San Francisco, or Seoul, where there are large bodies of water that can be used, this means of clean transportation would be an all-electric hydrofoil ferry. Of course, you will say, ferries are not a novel idea. Well, this one is: Candela claims to have the world’s fastest, cleanest, and more efficient ferry.
It’s called the P-30 and, according to an announcement from earlier this month, it should be making its official debut in 2022, with a start date for commercial operations set for 2023. Candela is currently offering the Seven, the “world’s first and only electric foiling boat,” which is also the best-selling electric boat in Europe. In other words, this is a company with experience and a proven track record, proposing an idea it plans (with backing from the Swedish transport authority) to implement.
The P-30 is designed with a 30-passenger capacity (hence the name), but it is scalable. Candela estimates it could build boats for a passenger load from 12 to 300 hundred on the same platform. However, for a ferry, a 30-person upper limit would do just fine.
Since this is a hydrofoil vessel and an electric one at it, it can ferry passengers from Point A to Point B in utmost comfort, without noise or emissions, and with no wakes that would cause damage to nearby vessels, shorelines, or structures. The wake of the Seven is shown in the video below. At this stage, on paper, P-30 promises to set several new world records by merely existing: the fastest electric passenger ship, the longest-range electric passenger ship, and the most efficient fast ship.
Power comes from two 60-kW (80-hp) electric pod drives, which are, in turn, powered by an onboard 180-kWh lithium battery pack. Top speed would be 30 knots, with a cruising speed of 20 knots—and a range for this cruising speed of 60 nautical miles or three hours of continuous operation. That would make it ideal for urban transport in already-crowded cities, as it would deliver quick traveling times and have the extra benefit of not requiring new infrastructure.
“Today, most of our waterways are unused for mass transit, even though most highways are congested during rush-hour traffic,” Gustav Hasselskog, founder and CEO of Candela, says. “Opening up urban waterways for high-speed electric transport can revolutionize commuting. […] Our goal is to prove that our electric hydrofoil ferries are much cheaper, more comfortable and a lot more versatile than conventional vessels. It’s not just an alternative to other ships, but a whole new take on of public transportation.”
That is Candela’s goal: to redefine waterborne urban transport, with a focus on zero-emissions, efficiency, and comfort.
Speaking of efficiency and comfort, the P-30 comes with Flight controller, a computer that analyzes the pitch and roll of the boat at a rate of 100 times a second, adjusting the foils accordingly to keep the boat above the waterline. Computer and software keep the boat artificially stable, the company says. This means smooth sailing at all times and almost zero wake. As for efficiency, Candela says the P-30’s consumption is comparable to that of an electric-urban city bus.
The 40-foot (12-meter) ferry will start sea trials in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2022, and will be ready for commercial operations in the next year. Candela hopes the city’s aging ferry fleet will eventually be replaced with the cleaner, faster, and overall better P-30.Please upgrade to a HTML5 browser (IE9+, Firefox 31+, Chrome 31+, Safari 7+, Opera 27+) or download the video file
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