Alternative Energy

Electric boats square off in Monaco e-boat race

16th July 2021
Alex Lynn

The Monaco Yacht Club hosted the first competition between green energy boats. Candela C-7, an electric foiling boat, is available for test drives during the event. Teams from around the world gather in Monaco this week in preparation to race their electric boats during the Monaco Energy Challenge, a competition that ‘aims to stimulate the creativity of tomorrow’s engineers and the industry to develop propulsion methods using clean energy’.

The Energy Challenge is the world’s biggest green energy boat race with 35 teams from 20 countries entering electric, solar and hydrogen boats that compete in three different categories. A wide variety of teams – from university engineering students to commercial electric boat makers – will race in the Solar, Energy and Open Sea classes.

Candela C-7, the world’s first foiling electric boat in serial production, will take part in the Challenge and is also available for media test drives.

Dubbed ‘The Tesla of the Seas’ by the Economist, the C-7 is equipped with a digital, active hydrofoil system that allows it to fly above the sea surface, using 80% less energy than other electric boats on the market – which translates into long electric range at high speeds. Cruising along at 20 knots, it has an endurance of over two hours, considerably more than planing, electric boats. Since the C-7 soars above waves and medium chop, the ride is also smoother and quieter than in conventional craft.

While hydrofoil boats - craft with wings slung under the hull that lift it above the water, thereby reducing friction - have been around for well over 100 years, the Swedish marine tech company Candela uses a new type of foils, that are constantly adjusted by computers. The C-7's fly-by-wire system is inspired by modern fighter jets and makes the boat very stable but still extremely easy to drive.

Candela is now leveraging the company's proprietary foil technology to build the Candela P-30, the world's fastest electric ferry for the city of Stockholm, as well as P-12, a 12-person foiling water taxi, which both will be available in 2022.

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