A startup in Stockholm, Sweden is set to unveil what it believes to be the world’s “fastest electric ship” – a hydrofoiling electric ferry with a top speed of 30 knots. 

The 30-passenger, 40-foot Candela P-12 is designed for public transport along Stockholm’s waterways, and would give commuters in outlying bedroom communities a much faster connection to downtown. The prototype vessel will connect the suburb of Ekerö with Stockholm city, and will cut the commute time nearly in half. 

“This will have a huge positive impact on people’s lives – you can work one more hour or pick up your kids from school one hour earlier,” says Erik Eklund, Vice President of Commercial Vessels at Candela.

The vessel’s high speeds come courtesy of three carbon fiber hydrofoils, which lift the catamaran hull out of the water during operation, cutting down drag. This gives the Candela P-12 a top speed of 30 knots and a maximum range of 50 nm per charge.

Courtesy Candela

With a DC charging station, the vessel can recharge in less than an hour. Small and nimble, the boat will run at higher average passenger capacity than the city’s current 300-passenger ferries, and with more much more frequent departures. 

Advanced, computerized active stabilization will smooth the ride, adjusting the hydrofoils 100 times per second. This will cut down on vessel motion and keep passengers comfortable. “There’s no other ship that has this kind of active electronic stabilization,” says Eklund. “Flying aboard the P-12 Shuttle in rough seas will feel more like being on a modern express train than on a boat.”

The keel-laying for the first prototype is scheduled for the end of this year. After first tests, commuters in Stockholm could get to board the vessel as early as next year. The eventual objective is to roll out a fleet of Candela P-12s to replace the city’s aging diesel ferries. 

Candela is the latest in a growing number of hydrofoiling electric ferry startups. California-based Boundary Layer Technologies has plans for a larger vessel with room for 240 and a top speed of 40 knots; Kitsap Transit and Washington Maritime Blue have studied a novel design for use on the Puget Sound; and UK-based Artemis Technologies is developing a high-tech ferry based on America’s Cup technology, with support from Gunvor and the UK government. 

Source: The Maritime Executive