Candela Speed Boat AB was founded in 2014. The core idea was - and still is - to revolutionise the way boats are built to make them efficient enough to enable electric propulsion. Since a typical family boat consumes 10-20 times more fuel than a car, this is no small challenge.
Taking on this challenge head-on, the project was based on the following four design principles:
Design and Development
After researching ways to reduce the energy to propel a boat, a concept design was developed with the following key elements:
Benefit from advances made in carbon fibre engineering within aviation and speed sailing to reduce the overall weight by more than 50% despite carrying a heavy battery drive train.
Use fully submerged hydrofoils and support stability, ease of use, and driving experience with an electronic control system. Offset the drawback with increased draft by making the foils fully retractable for shallow water and trailers.
Use the most energy dense and low cost lithium ion battery technology and adapt it to marine use.
Encase it in a modern design inspired by the lines of classic motorboat lines.
Initial calculations indicated that the concept would reduce the overall energy consumption by ~80%, resulting in a range on par with traditional combustion engine boats.
Later in-depth studies of the detailed design have confirmed this. It also became clear that such a boat would have some additional benefits:
A calm ride: with the hydrofoils below the surface and thus not affected by waves or wake
A silent ride: no water against the hull and no noisy engine, boating will be new experience
An inexpensive ride: the cost per nautical mile is less than €0.1 with Candela, compared to at least €2 for a traditional boat
Throughout the concept phase, a team of some of Europe's leading experts on carbon fibre structures, hydrodynamics, control systems, battery technology, and boat design was established.
A fully automated control system based on 8 different redundant sensor types and advanced sensor fusion to ensure a stable ride
A unique system for retracting the hydrofoils to facilitate trailing and beach landings
One software communication protocol for control system, electric drivetrain, and the 12 inch “all-in-one” driver interface
A 60 horsepower (up to 100 at peak) electric outboard unit based on a 12 kg motor
A weight of 900 kg - less than half the weight of a modern 7.5 meter boat built with traditional technology (approx. 2000 kg)
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