Electric watercraft-maker Candela secures 24 million euro investment to scale production of electric vessels

Swedish tech firm Candela, specialising in long-range electric boats, has announced it has raised 24 million euros, led by EQT Ventures with participation from Chris Anderson, curator of TED, aimed at tripling R&D, investing in production automation and scaling up the company’s sales organisation to meet demand worldwide.  
Electric watercraft-maker Candela secures 24 million euro investment to scale production of electric vessels
Courtesy of Candela

The shift to zero emission boats and ships has been hampered by the enormous energy consumption and correspondingly low range of conventional electric boats. Flying on computer-guided underwater wings -- known as hydrofoils that reduce energy consumption by 80 percent compared to conventional planing craft, Candela’s vessels are designed to silently soar above the waves with longer endurance than the best conventional electric powerboats.

The active hydrofoil system stabilises the vessels in-flight using computer power and advanced software that accounts for waves and side winds, allowing for a wake-free and smoother ride than conventional boats.

Over the past three years, Candela’s high-tech hydrofoil vessels have disrupted the global boating industry by being the first to offer the elusive combination of long all-electric range and high speed. Since 2019, Candela has led electric boat sales in Europe with its foiling C-7 sportsboat. Now, the company is building on this success with the mass market Candela C-8, a day cruiser that the company has close to 100 orders for, just three months after launc

The new investment will be used to triple Candela’s fast-growing R&D team that consists of leading engineers from the aerospace, software, and electronics industries. Funds will also be allocated to complement the company’s Stockholm facility with an additional highly automated factory, which will produce the Candela C-8 alongside the commercial vessels launched earlier this year: the shuttle ferry Candela P-30 and the water taxi Candela P-12.

By scaling its mature and market-proven hydrofoil tech to commercial vessels, Candela envisions to have a big impact on the sizable CO2 emissions caused by fast coastal shipping worldwide. Marine transports are responsible for 4 to 5 percent of the world’s annual Co2 emissions. By combining sustainability with lower operational costs, Candela foresees that the company’s electric passenger vessels will drive the transition away from ICE ships even faster than for leisure boats.

The Candela P-30 ferry – the world’s first electric hydrofoil passenger vessel – has been commissioned by the Region of Stockholm, where it is set to commence traffic in 2023. It will shuttle passengers to and from the city’s vast archipelago. According to the Region’s calculations, Candela P-30’s energy-saving hydrofoil system will shed operational costs by 42 percent compared to current diesel vessels, as well as allow for faster travel and more frequent departures.

“We’ve shown that our hydrofoil tech is the key to make electric boats commercially viable” said Gustav Hasselskog, CEO of Candela. “We’re seeing boundless demand for the Candela C-8, as well as huge interest in our commercial vessels. The investment from EQT Ventures will allow us to double down on our mission to speed up the transition to fossil fuel-free lakes and oceans. It took us four years to develop the technology and two more years to master it. Now we are ready to scale up fast. It then means a lot to get strong backing from Europe’s finest investors.  EQT Ventures is really the perfect match for Candela with its connections to the Wallenberg sphere with its 160 years of success in developing world leading industrial companies. Our recreational craft are in high demand since they offer an electric alternative that is much better than the ICE competitors. For commercial operators, Candela’s 90 percent lower energy cost is an additional important driver for switching to electric.”

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