In a video released on Wednesday, February 16th, Swedish electric boat manufacturer Candela announced that it has successfully completed the maiden flight of its new C-8 hydrofoil boat model.
The follow-up to the C-7, the C-8's development has taken place at a breakneck speed, with the new model having just been announced last August.
How hydrofoil technology saves energy
As moving through water requires vast amounts of energy compared to other mediums, the electrification of the marine transport sector has long been viewed as a particularly daunting challenge.
One way to get around this is to use a system of hydrofoils, thin platforms that sit under the water and lift the vessel from the surface as it gains speed, greatly reducing drag and, consequently, the amount of energy needed to power the craft.
Candela aims to smash electric boat range records with its new model, which the company claims eliminates as much as 80 percent of the energy consumption used by conventional designs while simultanesouly providing a smoother ride.
The vehicle rises up on three carbon struts after hitting a speed of 16 knots (18.4 mph/29.6 kph).
As the team at Candela puts it:
"A typical planing hull has a 4-to-1 lift-to-drag ratio, while the Candela C-8 has a 20-to-1 lift advantage. Cruising at 20 knots, the C-8 can fly for 50 nautical miles on its 44 kWh battery – 2-3 times longer than conventional electric speedboats with 300 percent bigger batteries."
Neither does the C-8 lack in amenities, featuring a cabin for two, a marine bathroom and shower, and a large sunbed.
The speedboat also comes with an autopilot feature, which is able to steer on a preset course when the driver lets go of the wheel. In the future, the boat will be able to incorporate new updates via an over-the-air (OTA) sytem, the company claims.
One uniquely appealing feature that boat owners will especially appreciate is the model's low maintenance requirements. The 50kW (67 hp) C-POD motor of the C-8 offers a nearly unlimited lifetime, as the motor is also able to work for 4,000 hours without maintenance.
The popularity and demand for such hydrofoil vessels is on the rise, which could give rise to a new trend of marine ride sharing. Gustav Hasselskog, founder and CEO of Candela, has pointed out that the C-8 has become the best-selling electric speedboat in Europe, adding, “We see that demand for the Candela C-8 is extremely high. By offering the C-8 for sharing, more people can experience the thrill of electric hydrofoiling, which is in line with our mission of decarbonizing leisure boating.”