These days, marine technology company Candela released the first pictures of what it claims it will be the world’s fastest, longest-range and most energy efficient electric ship ever. The Candela P-12 Shuttle is designed to shuttle citizens between the Stockholm suburb of Ekerö and the city center in the coming year. Flying across the water, the 30-passenger electric vessel reaches a speed of 30 knots – considerably faster than any other electric ship in the world. It also provides faster commuting than the subway and bus lines it competes with, as well as being more energy efficient than the diesel vessels currently servicing the same route. Not to mention that the ship is faster than travelling by car during rush hour.
The secret to its speed and range are the three carbon fiber wings that extend from under the hull. These active hydrofoils allow the ship to lift itself above the water, thus decreasing drag. Candela says its technology reduces energy per passenger kilometer by 95% compared to current vessels, allowing for an unprecedented range of 50 nautical miles at service speed of 25 to 27 knots. Using the equivalent of 0.1 kWh of electricity per passenger kilometer, the ship is more energy efficient than a hybrid electric bus. While the company did not disclose details on battery type and technology, it says that the 180 kWh batteries can be charged with up to 200 kW DC charging in under one hour.
The first electric flying ferry will also improve passenger experience, thanks to the advanced computer system installed in the boat that regulates the hydrofoils 100 times per second to stablise the vessel’s attitude and thus creating a very smooth ride even in rough weather – no more seasickness, the shipbuilder promises.
The Region of Stockholm will operate the first P-12 Shuttle ship for a nine-month trial period during 2023. If it meets the expectations, the hope is that the city’s fleet of over 70 diesel vessels eventually will be replaced.
In rush hour traffic, the ship is faster than buses and cars on many routes. Thanks to the hydrofoil’s efficiency, it can compete on mileage costs too; and unlike new subway lines or highways, it is possible to establish new new routes without massive infrastructure investments.
Candela’s vision is to replace today’s large, predominantly diesel, ships with fleets of faster and smaller P-12 Shuttles, allowing for more frequent departures and more passengers carried, at a lower cost for the operator. On the Stockholm-Ekerö route, Candela’s proposal is to replace the current pair of 200-person diesel vessels with at least five P-12 Shuttles, which would double passenger volume potential and lower operating cost. Instead of two departures per day, there would be a P-12 Shuttle departing every 11 minutes.
The first P-12 Shuttle will be followed by many more, as serial production of the ships is currently ramping up at the company’s Rotebro factory.