Swedish companies team on electric boats
By Mike Brezonick23 August 2022
A pair of Swedish companies are teaming up to bring a new generation of high-tech pleasure boats to the global market.
Swedish electric car maker Polestar will provide battery and charging systems to Swedish boat maker Candela for its hydrofoil electric boats. The battery deal will enable Candela to scale up production swiftly and tap into advanced automotive battery technology.
“To make electric boats mainstream, we need to build thousands of boats every year,” said Gustav Hasselskog, Candela CEO and founder. “Thanks to the partnership with Polestar, we’re able to secure state-of-the-art battery packs for our production ramp-up. As the number of electric vehicles increases worldwide, a steady battery supply will become increasingly important to hold a competitive edge and allow us to compete with combustion engine boats.”
The partnership between the two Swedish companies is an attempt to overcome the two major hurdles for electrifying boating. The first hurdle is the massive energy consumption of conventional powerboat hulls. Candela’s hydrofoil technology cuts energy usage of powerboats by up to 80%, the company said.
The second hurdle has been the prohibitively high cost of marine batteries for electric boats. Electric boatbuilders typically have historically relied on smaller vendors of marine battery packs. Scarcity and high unit costs of these packs are two factors that have prevented electric boats from achieving parity with ICE vessels. The Polestar 2, used in Polestar’s electric vehicles, is a 400 V lithium-ion battery pack that is available in 69 and 78 kWh ratings.
“I am fascinated by way Candela’s boats glide elegantly and efficient through, or better, over the water – amazing proof of the great aesthetics and experiences modern, sustainable technology can create,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. “That Polestar will be part of future projects with Candela by supplying an essential part for the innovative propulsion of their boats, is awesome.
“As a battery supplier to Candela, we can help drive the transition to cleaner oceans and lakes, and electrify waterborne transport.”
Candela said its hydrofoil craft are the fastest and longest-range electric boats on the market. Flying above the water’s surface at 30 knots, the company said its C-8 and P-8 Voyager use up to 80% less energy than conventional boats of the same size, thanks to much reduced water friction. The computer-actuated foils also provide superior seakeeping, zero wake and a silent ride.
The vessels are driven by the company’s C-Pod submerged direct-drive electric motor that is part of the rear foil. The foils are operated by the Flight Controller, which uses an array of sensors to measure the boat’s position, speed and acceleration to deliver stable hydrofoiling.
After launching the high-volume sales Candela C-8 leisure boat last fall and shortly after raising €24 million from EQT Ventures, the Candela is now moving into a new production plant where the P-series commercial vessels and C-series leisure boats will be produced.
The battery supply agreement is said to be the beginning of a broader intended partnership between Polestar and Candela, with both companies committed to exploring further opportunities for future collaboration.