Electric Hydrofoil now “Flying” Commuters to Work

The first “flying” electric hydrofoil passenger vessel will operate in Stockholm in 2024.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Candela P-12 has taken flight: the first “flying” electric hydrofoil passenger vessel will operate in Stockholm in 2024. Image Candela.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The first “flying” electric hydrofoil passenger vessel will operate in Stockholm in 2024.

Candela Technology AB has completed trials for its new electric hydrofoil passenger vessel, the Candela P-12. Using hydrofoil technology, this vessel will transport passengers from the suburb of Ekerö to Stockholm city center.

Car Culture Isn’t Working

In the modern world, it can often feel like you are trapped in a giant machine, simply playing your role as a gear or a cog. Especially in places like North America, where car culture has been ingrained for generations, millions of people sit for hours a day in traffic to get to where they’re going and then back. 

This is primarily because many jobs in any area are generally concentrated around the city centers. But with such a significant human population growth within the last 150-200 years, these cities have ballooned in size, and/or other supporting cities have become more important, creating a larger metropolitan area. 

This has increased the distance required for people to travel, meaning you’re stuck on a train, car, or bus for hours in most countries. In most places, increasing public infrastructure spending has been shown to provide cheaper, more efficient urban transportation than relying on individual car ownership. 

In other parts of the world, easy access to water has been a cornerstone of their development into their societies. Why not use that water access to decrease transportation times? 

See also: Sparky the Electric Tugboat.

Using the Water for Transportation Isn’t New

As it turns out, this has been tried before. As it stands, many countries utilize their waterways for a variety of reasons. For example, the marshy riverlands in Cambodia are often used to transport tourists who pay well to see such sights. In other places, like 18th and 19th century England, their waterways were utilized to transport industrial materials and goods up and down the country and out for export. 

However, cities have become so densely populated in recent years that alternative transportation solutions are being considered. 

In Stockholm, Sweden, a technology company called Candela Technology AB has passed trials on their electric hydrofoil “flying” passenger vessel. 

The Candela P-12 is a passenger ship that utilizes electric hydrofoil technology to lift a significant portion of the hull out of the water. This significantly reduces the amount of wake created while underway and allows the vessel to achieve speeds much faster than what would be created without the hydrofoil tech. 

The vessel, equipped with a 252kW battery, can achieve 25-30 knot speeds with a range of 50 nautical miles (92.6km) on a single charge. According to the company, the vessel consumes 80% less energy than a traditional design running at 18 knots. 

In the past, adopting electric technology onto watercraft has been sluggish because boats demand so much energy to push a traditional hull through the water that batteries cannot manage longer distances. But this new electric hydrofoil design makes adopting clean tech in marine environments feasible. 

What’s Next?

Beginning in 2024, the Candela P-12 electric hydrofoil will move into production and operate on a route between the suburb Ekerö and Stockholm city center, slashing the 55-minute commute to only 25 minutes. 

The lack of wake created by the vessel means that they don’t have to abide by speed limits, meaning rapid water-based transportation will become a reality in Stockholm in the near future. 

As the world continues to adopt innovative new technologies to solve our climate crisis, we should apply these technologies to benefit our environment and ourselves. This development could also serve as a watershed moment before other municipalities near waterways adopt similar technologies for their citizens. 

In Vancouver, for example, the Sea Bus program has been widely popular for many citizens, providing easy access to the downtown core for North Vancouver residents. It could be more popular and expand, connecting other municipalities with a new line of electric hydrofoil-based vessels, cutting the commute down even further. 

Nonetheless, this development out of Sweden is promising for all who support good change in the world. 

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