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Electric boat shatters world record, covers 483 miles (777 km) in a day

by Candela 21 Sep 2023 10:24 PDT

Imagine traveling by electric boat from London to Amsterdam and back within 24 hours? During a recent endurance challenge, the electric, hydrofoiling Candela C-8 covered a distance equivalent to that journey, setting a new world record for the longest distance driven by an electric boat in a day.

Swedish electric boat manufacturer Candela's latest version of its C-8 foiling craft covered a remarkable 420 nautical miles - equivalent to 777 kilometers or 483 miles - within 24 hours in the Stockholm archipelago. The prior claimed record was 79 nautical miles achieved in 20 hours.

"This feat shows that fast, electric waterborne transport over long distances is viable today, not a distant future" says Gustav Hasselskog, Candela's CEO and founder, who piloted the C-8 during the record attempt.

While conventional planing electric boats face challenges due to water friction, leading to shorter ranges, the C-8 uses hydrofoil technology—wings slung under the hull—to reduce energy usage by 80%. This results in a range that's 2 to 3 times longer than that of traditional electric boats. Moreover, the C-8 can be DC-charged thanks to Candela's partnership with electric car company Polestar, which supplies both batteries and charging for the C-8. Together, this makes extended journeys using battery power feasible for the first time.

The record run was enabled by Northvolt's mobile battery storage system Voltpack, which was used to DC charge the C-8 during the record run. On the dock stood a 281 kWh Voltpack system, and a Plug DC charger, which enabled rapid charging of the C-8's battery. The average speed during the 24-hour run was 17 knots, even when accounting for charging breaks. The route comprised a loop between Stockholm and the island of Tynningö, with DC charging after each lap.

The record distance run offered several insights about what can be achieved with Candela's electric foiling vessels and a network of DC charging stations:

  • The distance traveled in 24 hours equates to driving from Amsterdam to London and back - or between Trondheim and Stavanger.
  • The C-8 could have shuttled across the English Channel between Dover and Calais 20 times in 24 hours.
  • Traveling at an average speed of 17 knots including charging breaks, the C-8 could journey from Stockholm to Finland in 13 hours, outpacing the Finland ferry by 3 hours.
  • The C-8, running at full speed, 27 knots, most of the time, consumed 685 kWh during its journey, costing about €110-120 in electricity. In contrast, a conventional petrol-powered boat would consume roughly 750 liters of gasoline, costing approximately €1400.

Candela conducted the record run in collaboration with battery maker Northvolt and charging station supplier Plug, to showcase how future DC charging networks for boats could look like in archipelagos and remote coastal areas. Instead of making heavy investments in upgrading the local grid, islands can deploy battery systems like Voltpack to ensure that there's enough power available for fast charging.

"With a relatively modest investment, charging stations could be built to fully electrify marine transport in the Stockholm archipelago. For a few hundred million euros, a charging network covering Europe's coastal passenger transports would become a reality," states Gustav Hasselskog.

This fall, Candela introduces its new passenger vessel, the 30-person Candela P-12 Shuttle. This vessel can operate most of the world's coastal waterways while offering a sustainable and much more cost-effective alternative to today's fossil-fueled waterborne traffic, which accounts for 3% of global GHG emissions.

"We don't have to wait for tomorrow. We have the technology to shift towards sustainable marine transport now", concludes Gustav Hasselskog.

Electric Endurance Challenge

The circuit consisted of a 20 nautical mile loop between Frihamnen and the island of Tynningö.

During the 24 hours, the C-8 charged for a total of 313 minutes and received a total of 615kWh of electrical energy. Each charge took about 18 minutes, and the battery was charged from about 13% to 66% State of Charge (SOC). The Candela C-8 had an average charging speed of about 118kW. The vessel maintained an average speed of slightly over 17 knots during the race, including charging breaks. While driving, the target speed was 27 knots.

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