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Not floating but a flying boat: Sweden’s Candela zips $20M to mass produce all-electric hydrofoil vessel ‘P-12 Shuttle’

Picture credits: Candela

Candela, a Stockholm-based company that designs and manufactures hydrofoiling electric vessels, has secured $20M co-led by Stockholm-based EQT Ventures (that also recently backed ViridiCO2), and investor duo Joel Eklund (Fosielund Holding AB) and Svante Nilo Bengtsson (Marknadspotential AB), with participation from Ocean Zero LLC, among others.

Founded by Gustav Hasselskog in 2014, the Swedish company will use the funds to accelerate the mass production of Candela P-12 Shuttle in its new Stockholm factory.

“This new investment will unlock the potential of underutilised waterways for climate-friendly, high-speed commuting. The P-12 Shuttle will in many cases be faster and cheaper than land transport like bus lines, and it will be profitable for operators from day one” says Gustav Hasselskog, Candela’s founder and CEO.

Back in December 2021, Candela grabbed $27 million from EQT Ventures as well.

Flies not floats: uses 80% less electricity

By flying above the surface on computer-guided hydrofoils, and underwater wings, P-12 Shuttle uses significantly less electricity — 80% less energy than traditional vessels, claims the company.

As a result, it translates into a record range of 60 nautical miles on one charge at a cruising speed of 27 knots.

The life cycle analysis by Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology concluded that a P-12 ferry will emit 97.5% less carbon dioxide over its lifetime compared to a diesel vessel of the same size.

The P-12 features Candela’s Flight controller, a computer that automatically stabilises the vessel during flight by regulating the hydrofoils, using data from sensors that gauge wave height and wind speed, among other factors. 

In rough weather, passengers experience 90% fewer g-forces than they would on a traditional ship.

The Tesla of water

Image credits: Candela

At present, the Swedish firm also touted as ‘Tesla of water’ says it’s in sales discussions with more than 180 interested parties about the P-12 Shuttle systems. 

The first operator will be the Region of Stockholm, moving commuters between the suburb of Ekerö and central Stockholm, claims the company. 

As a result, the travel times will be cut from currently 55 minutes by car, bus, or conventional diesel ferry to just 25 minutes in the P-12. 

Lars Jörnow, Partner at investor EQT Ventures, comments: “The P-12 Shuttle will be a game changer for passenger water travel. Candela is on a trajectory to become a generation-defining company, revolutionizing the waterborne transportation market by offering the most climate-friendly, low-cost, and customer-delighting boating experiences in the world.”

“Candela’s tech stack is truly impressive. The experience of flying above the water in complete silence is just pure magic. This, while simultaneously reducing operational costs, will be key to speeding up the transition to sustainable waterborne transport”, says Svante Nilo Bengtsson, who will take a seat on the Board.

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