Candela has announced it will open an electric boat experience center in Cannes on France’s Côte d’Azur this September in collaboration with Sud Plaisance, the leading recreational boat dealer in France. Test drives for well-heeled potential customers will be available during the Cannes Yachting Festival this year — the most prestigious boat show on the planet, according to anyone who is anybody.
The company says the ultra-efficient, foiling Candela C-8 is the first electric daycruiser that offers both long range and high speed. 100 of its electric boats have already been sold in the US and parts of Europe. “We’re building an electric boat that doesn’t compete with ICE powerboats. It is vastly better. I believe that’s what’s needed to speed up the transition to sustainable boating,” says Candela’s CEO and founder Gustav Hasselskog.
Speeding along the French Riviera is a favorite pastime of the rich and beautiful, but doing so leaves tons of carbon dioxide in their wake. Conventional V-hull speedboats in the 8-meter size range use 15 times more fuel per kilometer than the average family car. Their motors are some of the least regulated combustion engines on the planet, spewing out particulate matter unrestrained by the catalytic converters and other exhaust control devices that have been mandatory on land based motor vehicles for decades.
Other drawbacks of conventional motorboats are the high cost of fuel, not being able to hear yourself think over the sound of the engine, and the pounding that comes from constantly slamming into waves at high speed. In other words, being offshore in a speedboat can not only be loud and expensive but actually painful if the sea is turbulent.
Once the Candela C-8 is up on its ultra-efficient hydrofoils, all those issues go away. The onboard flight control computer automatically regulates the angle of attack of the hydrofoils 100 times per second to account for wind, waves, and different loads. The result is an automatically stable craft that doesn’t slam, roll or pitch in waves.
Some of you may recall an episode of Top Gear years ago when James May raced from Monaco to Cannes in an offshore speedboat while Richard Hammond made the same trip in an exotic sports car. Hammond arrived looking refreshed while Captain Slow arrived looking like he had gone 15 rounds with Mike Tyson in a cage fighting match.
“Our goal with the Candela C-8 was not only to build the best electric boat, but to make a vastly better boat than today’s powerboats. To do away with all the drawbacks and provide a far better experience,” says Hasselskog.
The foils make C-8 about 400% more efficient than conventional motorboats, thanks to vastly reduced friction. At 20 knots, Candela C-8 uses only about 21 kW of power, which makes its lithium-ion battery last for over 2 hours of cruising or about 50 nautical miles of range. That’s more than two times the endurance of any other electric speedboat on the market and means it can cruise from Cannes to Monaco and back on a single charge. The Candela C-8 is totally silent and requires no maintenance of its C-POD drive train.
Bruno Delahaye, head of Sud Plaisance, says, “Candela is the boat I have been hoping to get for our customers for years — fast, elegant, and with the electric range necessary for our waters. Sud Plaisance is committed to deliver the most exquisite experience in harmony with our environment.”
Have questions? Get yourself over to Cannes in September for a test drive. Tell them CleanTechnica sent you and maybe you will get a free tarte aux fraises to enjoy during your voyage. Don’t forget to bring a serviette!
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