Candela raises record funding to solve the biggest problem with electric boats

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The innovative Swedish electric boat maker Candela has just announced its biggest funding round ever, reeling in €24.5M (US $26.6M). Fresh off the announcement of the first commercial user of the company’s new P-12 electric ferry, Candela is now flying closer to its goal of replacing combustion engine watercraft with efficient electric boats in both the recreational and commercial boating industries.

The company is well on its way to achieving that goal, using an innovative design with computer-controlled hydrofoils that help its boats fly above the surface of the water. The hydrofoils enable the boats to use 80% less energy than comparable vessels covering the same route.

That efficiency improvement is an even bigger achievement in the water than on land, since electric cars only have to consider aerodynamics when they push air out of the way. Boats dealing with the hydrodynamic issues of much heavier water result in significantly lower efficiencies. Electric boats thus typically require incredibly powerful motors and massive battery banks. But Candela’s high-tech hydrofoils mean the boats can be much more efficient and economical with smaller motors and batteries that still achieve longer range.

And major boatbuilders seem to agree with Candela’s approach. In fact, one of the key contributing members of Candela’s latest record funding round is Groupe Beneteau, a leading global boat maker with a turnover of €1.46B, 15 factories, 9 brands, and more than 8,000 yachts built annually.

As the company explained, the move correlates with its own goals.

“Our investment perfectly aligns with Groupe Beneteau‘s ecological transition objectives, scaling up
innovative solutions for more sustainable boating and unparalleled navigation experiences. Candela’s technology, enabling significantly more efficient electric vessels, will transform waterborne transport into its next sustainable phase”, said Bruno Thivoyon, CEO at Groupe Beneteau.

A Candela P-12 ferry and C-8 speedboat fly in formation

It’s a major score for Candela, as the company’s CEO Gustav Hasselskog added:

“We couldn’t be more excited about having Groupe Beneteau on board. As the leading global boat company, their trust is a stamp of approval for our technology to transform waterborne transportation. We’re excited for the possibilities ahead.”

Candela expects the new investment round to help scale up production to meet demand for the recently launched Candela P-12, the world’s first electric hydrofoil ferry.

The P-12 marks a new chapter in waterborne transport, as it’s the first fast and long-range electric ferry on the market. Its efficient hydrofoil tech cuts lifetime emissions by an impressive 97.5% compared to diesel vessels, while simultaneously cutting operators’ costs in half.

Since it generates minimal wake, the P-12 has been granted exemptions from speed limits in many no-wake areas, such as on its maiden route in Stockholm, where in July it will begin cutting travel times in half compared to road transport and legacy diesel vessels.

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