Swedish company demonstrating Candela P-12 electric shuttle on the Potomac river

Swedish company Candela is currently demonstrating an electric foiling ship on the Potomac River in Washington DC, the trial taking place between 9th and 15th October.
Swedish company demonstrating Candela P-12 electric shuttle on the Potomac river
Courtesy of Candela.

Candela believes that the waterways of cities like Washington DC, Baltimore and New York could be transformed into green highways with electric ships, potentially cutting travel times in half. The Swedish company behind this innovation is offering demonstration trips on the vessel to the media from October 9 to 15.

In cities like Washington DC and New York, road congestion during rush hour is a familiar sight. However, the adjacent rivers and waterways remain mostly unused for passenger traffic. Swedish tech company Candela has developed what it believes to be the world’s fastest electric ship and is intending to showcase its potential in the US.

Equipped with computer-controlled foils beneath its hull, the Candela P-12 Shuttle skims across the water at speeds up to 30 knots. The world's first electric hydrofoiling ship uses 80 percent less energy compared to traditional vessels, and offers long range at high speed. It produces neither noise nor wake, and costs much less than conventional diesel vessels to run. Stockholm is set to incorporate the first P-12 ship into its public transport system by 2024. The P-12 Shuttle’s no-wake design makes it exempt from speed restrictions in the city centre. As a result, travel time from the suburbs to downtown Stockholm will be reduced from 55 minutes by car to just 25 minutes by the electric ferry.

Candela believes similar success can be replicated in the US.

“Most cities grapple with traffic congestion during peak hours while their waterways remain largely unused” said Gustav Hasselskog, the Founder and CEO of Candela. “Remembering that many of these cities originated around water, our vision is to convert these rivers, lakes, and seas into new, sustainable highways.”

In Washington DC, the Potomac River provides an expedient route through the city. Using the P-12 Shuttle, a water commute from Georgetown to the Ronald Reagan Washington Airport would be a mere 6 minutes, given exemption from speed limits, outpacing both cars (up to 20 minutes) and public transport (37 minutes) during rush hour. Similarly, commuters from Alexandria heading to The Wharf can anticipate a serene 10-minute ride on the P-12 Shuttle.

In New York, the Hudson River holds potential to become a green artery, providing a swift connection between outlying suburbs and the city core. With the P-12, passengers from Greenwich, Connecticut could commute to Wall Street in under an hour during rush hour, saving 30 minutes compared to conventional land-based transport and surpassing cars. Moreover, a direct P-12 ferry route could establish a brisk 20-minute link between Manhattan and Newark airport.

Candela’s C-8, which recently covered 420-nautical miles in 24 hours, setting a world record for electric range at sea, will serve as the tech demonstrator for media test rides in the US. As the ship "flies" atop the water, computer-balanced foils or "wings" adjust 100 times per second, guaranteeing a comfortable ride even over choppy waters. The Flight control system works to prevent seasickness, and Candela’s electric C-POD propulsion ensures a noiseless journey.

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