Candela raises $20m to unlock electric waterborne transport
Waterborne transport is now on a path to be faster, cheaper, and more sustainable than land transport in many cities. Candela raises $20 million to bring its passenger hydrofoil vessels to mass production.
“Waterborne transport is the next frontier set for sustainable disruption, and it’s happening now”, said Candela CEO and founder Gustav Hasselskog.
Swedish tech company Candela’s revolutionary electric hydrofoil technology promises to help operators switch to sustainable electric vessels, by offering shorter travel times, frequent departures and more comfort than traditional ships while substantially decreasing operational costs.
The $20 million investment is co-led by EQT Ventures and investor duo Joel Eklund (Fosielund Holding AB) and Svante Nilo Bengtsson (Marknadspotential AB), with participation from Ocean Zero LLC, among others.
The funds will be used to bring Candela’s game-changing, foiling 30-passenger ferry Candela P-12 Shuttle to mass production in the company’s new Stockholm factory.
Flying above the surface on computer-guided hydrofoils, underwater wings, P-12 Shuttle uses significantly less electricity; 80% less energy than traditional vessels, which translates into a record range of 60 nautical miles on one charge at a cruising speed of 27 knots.
When launching this summer, P-12 Shuttle will become the fastest and longest-range electric passenger vessel in the world. Most importantly, these exciting speeds do not come at the expense of the climate. A recent 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 – a stunning figure that includes emissions from production, operations over 30 years and recycling.
For operators, the real allure of Candela P-12 lies in its ability to cut operational costs by 50%, thanks to the low energy usage and maintenance.
“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” said Gustav Hasselskog, Candela’s Founder and CEO.
Candela is 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. Travel times will be cut from currently 55 minutes by car, bus or conventional diesel ferry to just 25 minutes in the P-12. Since the vessel creates zero wake, it has received an exemption from the 12-knot speed limit on Stockholm’s urban waterways, resulting in more frequent departures compared to traditional ferries.
At the heart of the hydrofoil tech stack is Candela's Flight controller, a computer which automatically stabilizes 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% less g-forces than they would on a traditional ship.
The foil technology has been developed and extensively tested in Candela’s award-winning leisure boats since 2019, and received rave reviews from media. Launched in 2022, Candela’s award-winning C-8 daycruiser is the best-selling electric boat on the market with 150 orders and has been lauded as a “game-changer” by Motor boat and Yachting magazine, thanks to its smooth ride and superior performance.
Across the coastal and urban segments of vessels, Candela estimates the total addressable market for their electric watercraft to be more than $30 billion.
Lars Jörnow, Partner at investor EQT Ventures, commented: “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”, said Svante Nilo Bengtsson, who will take a seat on the Board.