An electric boat that can fly? Wow, has James Bond heard about this? The truth about the Candela Seven electric boat is a bit less exciting, but still pretty cool. The new EV can’t actually take to the sky, but it does rise above the water in order to decrease drag and increase range.
Wing-shaped foils force the hull out of the water as the boat moves forward, which Candela says reduces energy consumption by 80 percent compared to an ordinary planing boat, and cuts fuel costs by 95 percent.
Candela’s engineering team has been working on the foiling technology and its computerized control system since 2015, and has tested it in several prototypes. The company has now begun serial production of the Seven at its Lidingö factory outside Stockholm.
A new video demonstrates the e-boat’s performance on a 37-minute cruise through the Stockholm archipelago. The Candela Seven’s sensors and on-board computers are designed to deliver a steady ride in almost any conditions. In the video, we see the Candela powering through the wake from a cruise ship with minimal rocking and rolling.
The Candela Seven has a 40 kWh battery pack. According to the company, it consumes no more than 0.9 kWh of energy per nautical mile at a cruising speed of 20 knots, whereas a non-foiling fossil-fueled boat of the same size uses 6 kWh per nautical mile.
“The key to long electric range in boats is to reduce the friction from the water,” says Mikael Mahlberg, Communications Manager at Candela Speedboat. “The only way to achieve a decent range with batteries is to use hydrofoils. That’s how we get three times the range of conventional electric boats, even with a smaller battery pack.”