Candela raises 24 million euros to mass-produce its stunning flying electric boats

It’s only been a few months since Stockholm-based Candela announced plans for its mass-produced C8 electric hydrofoil, but production planning is moving full steam ahead. And now things could start to heat up thanks to a major new funding round that will see 24 million euros added to the company’s war chest.

This is the largest fundraising ever carried out by a European boat builder, gasoline or electric.

The new funding round was led by EQT Ventures and saw participation from existing investor Chris Anderson, the curator of TED.

According to the company, the additional funding will be used to triple Candela’s fast-growing R&D team, invest in production automation and increase production of its electric vessels.

Candela plans to build “the world’s most automated boat factory” in northern Stockholm, which will be capable of producing 400 Candela C-8 boats a year, as well as a number of larger P-passenger ferries. 30 candelas.

The financing round helps to increase the already considerable cash flow generated by sales of the upcoming Candela C-8 boat, which is outselling Scandinavian gas-powered boats in its class.

Unlike most electric boats (or gas-powered boats, for that matter), Candela’s boats ride on underwater wings called hydrofoils. They lift the boat out of the water and help to reduce its energy consumption by around 80% compared to planing boats.

While these efficiencies may be attractive for conventional boats, they are a game-changer for electric boats which have long been hampered by the need to charge large and expensive batteries to achieve reasonable electric range.

With Candela’s computer-controlled hydrofoil system, boats can operate for an afternoon on the water and still be competitive with other high-end watercraft.

Boats are also more comfortable to use, as they glide over the waves instead of crashing and bouncing against them.

I recently had the chance to test one of Candela’s existing C-7 electric hydrofoils in the waterways around Stockholm, and the experience has shown me that flying boats are the way to go for electric watercraft. . You can check out my fun electric boat day in the video below.

This Candela C-7 has helped the company dominate the electric boat market in Europe for years.

It’s also been key to Candela’s newest technology development process, like the new C-POD drive system.

The updated hydrofoil drive uses enclosed electric motors that spin in reverse to provide thrust and take advantage of their immersion for water cooling and increased efficiency.

Additionally, the C-Pod has been engineered to have “almost unlimited life”, thanks to the design’s long 3,000-hour service interval and no oil changes or other major maintenance. . For a typical recreational user, this translates to years of maintenance-free use. Or, as Candela CEO Gustav Hasselskog put it:

For the average recreational boat user, this means you can just run the engine and forget about the usual maintenance and winterizing hassles. The C-Pod will outlast you and probably your kids too.

Candela didn’t just design the C-Pod to be an improvement over gasoline and diesel outboards – the company also designed it to outperform traditional electric outboards.

Fossil-fuel boat engines are notoriously noisy, but even electric outboard motors emit an audible whine that comes from transmitting power to an underwater propeller. Candela’s C-Pod is essentially silent because it lacks gears or other linkages, and the entire unit is submerged underwater.

Several electric boats in development

While the Candela C-8 is garnering the most attention, Candela’s other commercial electric boats could have an even greater impact on the electric watercraft industry due to their expected heavy use.

The upcoming Candela P-30 ferry, which will be the world’s first electric hydrofoil passenger ship, has already been commissioned by the Stockholm region, where it is expected to start operating in 2023.

According to Candela, Stockholm’s P-30 ferry will shuttle passengers across the city’s vast archipelago. The P-30’s energy-saving hydrofoil system is expected to help reduce operating costs by 42% compared to current diesel vessels, as well as enabling faster trips and more frequent departures.

The Candela P-12 water taxi will be a smaller-format electric boat, but could be just as useful for fast and efficient travel on waterways.

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