Candela C-8 Is The iPhone Moment For Electric Boats

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Candela has announced its new C-8 electric boat, noting that this is the iPhone moment for this sector.

The hydrofoiling speedboat offers long all-electric range and high speed. It has been in development for 16 months. It’s the company’s most ordered electric boat ever and had its first flight outside the Swedish tech company’s headquarters at Lidingö, Stockholm. Upon reaching the designated takeoff speed of 16 knots, the Candela C-8 prototype P-01 smoothly lifted off and flew above the water silently at a cruise speed of 20 knots. Gustav Hasselskog, Candela’s CEO, noted that the trip was smooth and very, very silent after he piloted the C-8 on its maiden flight.

The previous version, the Candela C-7, demonstrated the company’s hydrofoil technology, which allows for longer ranger on electricity and a better experience than your typical boat. Hasselskog touched upon the C-7 as well, pointing out that it was more of a hand-built sports car and that it was never intended for volume production.

Candela introduced the C-7 in 2019 and has since refined the hydrofoil technology and flight control software. The company’s 70+ engineers and technicians designed the C-8 for rapid mass production, and the company is planning a rate of 400 units per year in 2024.

Photo courtesy Candela

The new C-8 is taking the technology to another level while making the boat with the most comfort that one can expect. And bringing that to mass production.

The C-8 is 8.5 meters in length and includes the amenities that a premium cruiser would have. It has a large cockpit that seats up to eight people, a large sunbed, a spacious front cabin that is equipped with beds for two adults and two children, and a marine toilet.

So far, Candela has received over 100 orders after launching the C-8 concept last fall. This makes it the best-selling electric boat in Europe. It’s even outsold most other 28-foot premium ICE boats!

The company’s asking price of  290,000€ excluding VAT is either equal to or lower than many of the conventional fossil-fueled powerboats in the 28–29 foot range. In addition, owners of the C-8 will pretty much be able to use it for free due to the hydrofoil system. The cost of driving a Candela C-8 is 95% lower than for ICE boats.

The Candela C-8 is equipped with the company’s newly launched C-POD direct-drive pod motor and doesn’t require an oil change or regular maintenance. The C-POD is rated for 3,000 hours of service-free use, which is equivalent to 50–100 years of recreational boating. The hydrofoils can be retracted above the waterline when the boat is moored, which minimizes growth and the need for antifouling. Hasselskog said:

“It’s basically free boating, and hassle-free boating, for the first time in history.”

The Candela C-8’s Longest Electric Range Ever

Candela noted that the C-8 has a new and improved version of its hydrofoiling technology that cuts energy consumption by 80% compared to conventional boats. This allows for long all-electric range at high speeds. Combined with the C-POD, the C-8 can cruise for longer distances than any previous electric powerboat. The C-8 can cruise at over 50 nautical miles on battery power at a speed of 22 knots while using only 16 kW/21 hp. To share a fair comparison, a conventional plaining 28-foot cabin cruiser is normally equipped with a 300-horsepower gasoline outboard motor.

Candela C-8 Facts

Here is a short list of the C-8 features:

  • Length: 8.5 meters
  • Beam: 2.5 meters
  • Speed: 22-24 knots cruising, 30 knots max
  • Battery: 44 kWh; lithium-ion
  • Range: 50+ nautical miles
  • Motor: Candela C-POD, 55 kW
  • Max take-off load: 815 kg
  • Draft: 0.5 m in shallow mode (foils retracted); 0,8 m while foiling
  • Charging time: 2 hours, with 3-phase charging
  • Accommodation: Sleeps 2 adults, 2 children, seats for 6+2 people.

Candela, which has a mission dedicated to speeding up the transition to fossil-fuel-free lakes and oceans, hopes to make several thousand C-8s over the coming years. Hasselskod noted that once you have experienced it, you will see that this is the way boats must look in the future.

He also pointed out the importance of this first flight. “This successful first flight brings us one step closer to serial production. We’ll now perform a rigorous flight test campaign to ensure the reliability and maturity. We’re on track to deliver the first C-8 units this summer,” he said.

I had a quick email chat with Candela’s head of PR, Mikael Mahlberg, who had his own comments to add.

Candela C-8 is designed to do away with all the bad aspects of powerboating: no slamming, no harmful wake, no pollution, no maintenance, no noise, and no more expensive trips to the fuel dock. It’s just a smooth, silent, and fun ride. After the first ride last week, it’s clear we’re right on target. This will be a pivotal moment for electric boats.

“Unlike our first model, the hand-built C-7, the C-8 is designed for efficient mass production. We’re moving to a new factory in May and will quickly ramp up production to 400 boats per year.”

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Johnna Crider

Johnna owns less than one share of $TSLA currently and supports Tesla's mission. She also gardens, collects interesting minerals and can be found on TikTok

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